It isn’t often that we can cite the many miracles Jesus and the Apostles did in respect to their efforts to those whom their communities considered disabled or access-restricted. We find it as some of the more sincere and humbling acts of Scrpture when those persons are met and not simply healed, but addressed and considered as part of the greater community, not a layer to be ignored until public relations or peer pressure dictates they need attention (Matthew 5:1-15).
So, how do your mobile ministry practices address those who might be disabled or have restricted access due to physical, psychological, or political disabilities? For example, you built that mobile app for your church’s content, but are you relying on Apple/Google/RIM/Nokia/MS to have accessibility controls so they can navigate to your content, or have you designed high contrast, voice-powered interfaces that are independent of whatever the platform may or may not do?
Regard these words from technokitten in a recent post:
It’s not that big a deal, right? I can still do everything I used to be able to do. I only need glasses for a smidgeon of my time. And it can’t be that big a deal when we’re talking technology? Or so you’d think. My experience with mobile devices and my not-quite-as-good-as-it-used-to-be eyesight is pretty appalling:
- Going to a website on my phone and being forced to view the mobile version where the font is fixed and is too small (only by 1 or 2pts) to read without my glasses. Why can’t I zoom in or increase the font size?
- Going to a mobile site where having squinted at the article I’m reading, only to find that I can adjust the font size right at the bottom. That should be at the top, no? There’s little point in struggling to read the page only to find at the bottom, I could have made it a whole lot easier for myself.
- But neither of those are as bad as the app situation. Oh my word. That is simply horrid and a frustration. And I’m speaking having used apps regularly on Android, Windows Phone 7, Nokia N95 and N8, Android and Palm Pre II. Why can’t I increase a font size in an app? Why does the font have to be so small in the first place?
And this is from a person who is simply speaking of her accessibility needs which tend to happen to us all as we simply age. I know from close relationships just how much even mild disabilities are ignored in computing – and more so when it comes to religious applications and connected services.
Now, you can take the approach that this isn’t your fight. But, you’d have a hard time finding your efforts ministering to much of anyone if you do. Sure, you meet the goals of building something via mobile, but you miss the point of “a love that serves” over simply having a talent (1 Corinithians 12-14).
Or, you can take the approach of getting up to speed on what you can do, even going as far as entering contests such as the Vodafone Foundation Smart Accessabiliy Awards. Its really up to you. The testimony of what you address though will be clear in time (Matthew 25:31-45).