Does Anytype care about accessibility (a11y)?

First off, Anytype is a great tool and I’m looking forward to using it extensively once my data stays on my own PC (local first). I never used a tool as mighty as anytype before and I discover new things every day :grinning:.

Currently my impression is that Anytype does not follow the basic guidelines of SW accessibility. For instance I just tried to operate the client via keyboard (just tabbing). It did not work at all.

Please mind the European Accessibility Act. From 28 June 2025 on accessibility of SW will be obligatory by law in the EU. The laws are applicable for Companies with 10 or more employees or an annual turnover/annual balance sheet > 2 million €.

Looking at the venture capital that has been put into Anytype, I’d expect that, on the long run, Anytype will reach a size that makes this laws applicable .

If my above assumption is correct, you should start working on accessibility now or rather should have done it right from the start. The later you start, the more effort it will take to comply.

Please consider making Anytype usable for disabled people, whether this is enforced by law or not. Disabled people earn to be part of our community. They have the same amount of ideas to store and organize as we do :wink:.

Thank you!

I didn’t know where to put this point. Please feel free to move it elsewhere.

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Hey @Frank3, thanks for posting this important question. There are definitely some areas where Anytype can improve regarding accessibility.

(European) accessibility laws are great, but would it make sense to crowdsource a list of things that we as alpha users would like to see to make Anytype accessible for everyone? We could organize such a list in various ways to indicate priorities (mandatory by law vs “optional”, incidence in global population, votes by alpha users, etc.).

I am not in the place to set or ask for any priorities so this start of a list is in random order :slight_smile:

  • Color blindness friendly color schemes (general UI, color palettes for user settable colors, etc.)
  • Screen reader friendly UI
  • Keyboard or alternative input friendly UI (apart from mouse)
  • Documentation in accessible language (being easy to read and understand, in user’s language)

Owning your data is only helpful if you can access it :wink:

@Angelo would an “accessibility” tag be helpful?

Hi @sambouwer , thank for your quick and constructive response!

I am not sure what is the best way to start. Of course the alpha users are already there and can state their needs. On the other hand I am quite sure that people who can work with keyboard only or need a screen reader are currently not represented at all.

Accessibility requirements are well documented at How to Meet WCAG (Quick Reference). On this website you can filter the requirements down to those that are relevant for Anytype. There are three levels of conformity, A, AA and AAA.

An excerpt from Level Access:

WCAG Level A – Basic accessibility

WCAG Level A addresses the most fundamental accessibility considerations for the broadest group of people, making it an essential baseline achievement—but at this conformance level, web content will likely still contain some accessibility barriers.

WCAG Level AA – Strong accessibility

While WCAG Level A is commonly discussed, and allows organizations to cover the accessibility basics, WCAG Level AA goes further toward making web content accessible for users in a wider variety of contexts. This is why most accessibility experts, including those at eSSENTIAL Accessibility, recommend this conformance level. As a reminder, at this conformance level, the web page and content would satisfy all Level A and Level AA success criteria.

WCAG Level AAA – Excellent accessibility

Level AAA is the highest possible conformance level in WCAG, and thus holds organizations to the highest standard of accessibility. At this conformance level, the web page and content satisfy all Level A, Level AA, and Level AAA success criteria. However, as we’ll explain later on, level AAA is not applicable or realistic in all situations.

From my understanding we should set Level AA as goal to be reached. Where this is too much effort on the short run, we can fall back to level A to reach basic accessibility.

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