Accessibility statement for COVID Alert
COVID Alert supports common adaptive technologies. It works across the range of phones supported by Google and Apple exposure notification technology, as long as the phone has at least an Android 6 or Apple iOS 13.5 operating system.
The Government of Canada conducted research, inclusive design reviews and followed best practices for clear language, inclusivity and compatibility with adaptive technology. Our latest accessibility report outlines current accessibility issues with COVID Alert, as well as recommended adaptations.
The app can be used in landscape view, but there are issues with scrolling and accessing buttons. We know that scrolling and buttons may be hard to use with mounted devices. We're committed to fixing these problems which impact people with dexterity and mobility-related disabilities. If you have low vision, you can increase the text size to make landscape view better.
Some screens have issues with focus, which vary across Android and iOS devices. To work around the issues, you can use left and right swipe gestures to move through all the elements when screen readers are on.
Possible lag with TalkBack on Android
Some people may experience a lag during the onboarding process when using TalkBack on lower powered Android devices.
Zoom above 500% and text wrapping
COVID Alert works well at a zoom level of up to 500%. On most mobile phones, COVID Alert allows for users to increase the font size by more than 200%. At higher zoom levels or larger font sizes, you may experience text wrapping on buttons and in navigation elements.
You can choose the language for your phone in Settings. Most phones let you choose from several languages. COVID Alert lets you choose only English or French. Your phone's language might be different from your COVID Alert language.
Some COVID Alert messages are in your phone's language. For example, if you choose French for your phone and English for COVID Alert, then most COVID Alert screens will be English, but you will also get a few messages in French.
You can change your phone's language in Settings at any time. You can change the language for COVID Alert any time through the menu.
Access to smartphones and the Internet
Some people may have phones or operating systems that do not support downloading the app. And some people may not have smart phones at all. Many people may not have affordable access to the Internet, and the app needs an Internet connection at least once a day to work.
Although these people will not be able to use the app, they can still benefit from it, if other people use it. For example, if someone with the app receives a notification, they may decide not to visit a medically vulnerable person. That protects the vulnerable person from potential exposure, even if the vulnerable person does not have their own smartphone.
COVID Alert is one part of our public health effort to limit COVID-19. The app does not replace manual contact tracing by local public health authorities. Manual contact tracing is available to everyone in Canada, along with other important resources.
Github repo for COVID Alert
We're committed to working in the open and to continuously improving the COVID Alert app. You can follow our work in real-time and review the latest technical issues in our GitHub repository.
For general support and questions about COVID Alert, visit the app's webpage.
Contact the COVID-19 information line
Teletypewriter (TTY): 1-800-465-7735
(Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern time).
Government of Canada and accessible public services
The Government of Canada is committed to building accessible and inclusive services. We want to meet everyone's needs no matter how they use services.
The Government of Canada is testing the app with people with disabilities, including people who use screen readers and people with low vision. We're working to develop more connections with disability communities.
Read the Canadian Digital Service's accessibility handbook.
At a minimum, our services must meet level AA of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1 (WCAG 2.1).
We also follow the:
- Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
- Bill C-81 Accessible Canada Act
- Harmonised European Standard, EN 301 549 (2018)
- Guidelines on making information technology usable by all
Tell us how we're doing
We're grateful for your feedback and insights. To tell us about accessibility issues in COVID Alert, please do one of the following:
Report a problem or mistake on this page
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