Everyone Appt, that's what we go for.
The Appt Foundation is a platform for sharing knowledge about developing accessible apps. Founders Jan Jaap de Groot and Paul van Workum started the platform in 2020 from their motto: Everyone appt.
To make apps accessible to everyone, something extra is often needed, they tell more about it on their platform, appt.nl, share articles in the knowledge base, offer and started a hotline. for inaccessible apps. And for developers who really want to take a step, they offer quick scans, training courses or assistance with development.
How do you help make apps accessible to everyone?
On our platform we share knowledge about how to make apps accessible. We have also developed a special app, completely accessible of course, where you can learn more about accessibility. In the app you can learn how the screen reader works, among other things. The screen reader is a tool that people who are visually impaired or blind use to operate apps. It is useful for professionals that they can learn more about accessibility of apps through this app. When we test an app, we send the results to the developers. They can use it to improve their app.
Are you a foundation or a company?
We are a foundation but we also offer services for a fee. We have no profit motive. As a foundation, we also do a lot for nothing, simply because we see that a lot still needs to be done before we really live in an accessible society. Because we also provide free services, we are often helped by parties around us. As a result of reports in our reporting center, we also send a message to the developer of the app, so that you also create a business model. It starts with providing added value for free, which often leads to paid work at a later date.
What do you think is needed to make business even more accessible in the future?
To start with: awareness. Many companies do not yet realize that their app can also be used by blind people, for example. Even if you have a disability, there are still plenty of tools to use apps. When the awareness comes, the next step is thinking in solutions. The web has been at the forefront for years because there is more attention for it. Apps are still very much behind. Also, many parties that have the knowledge do not share this for free, but only through an expensive consultancy. When companies do want to do something in accessibility, the price forms a barrier to take this step.
How do you increase awareness about accessibility of apps?
With the Appt Foundation, we look for publicity in all kinds of ways, letting large groups of people know that accessibility of apps is an issue. If no one ever hears about it, nothing will happen.
In addition, we seek direct contact with developers. We often do this by making a video of their own app that shows where the problems occur, which is enormously clarifying. A more difficult problem is with large companies such as banks, for example. They often have mobile development teams of up to 100 developers. In that pyramid, only a handful of people have enough knowledge to make an app actually score well for accessibility. It is now really a profession in its own right. We hope that this knowledge will be disseminated more widely in the future.
What is your wish for the future?
Our mission is: Everyone appt. That's what we're going for. We hope that developers will become aware of the possibilities in the field of accessibility, that they will acquire knowledge and also apply this knowledge. A lot is still needed in breadth, and we are responding to this in a social way with the Appt Foundation. Legislation and regulations can help, but then something has to be done in enforcement as well. Unfortunately, that often turns out to be the motivation to tackle it. With apps still lagging so far behind, there are plenty of opportunities for us to make a big impact, but it remains frustrating to see apps with millions of users inaccessible. With that you say to a large part of society: 'you are not allowed to participate'.