Accessibility and Inclusion in the Swift Community

The Diversity in Swift work group is a group of volunteers working to make our community more approachable and inclusive.

Diversity and inclusion are both critically important values when writing software designed to be used and enjoyed by everyone. The Swift community embraces these values, and we are excited to highlight ways to make sure everyone feels welcome, and bring even more people into the fold of Swift development.

Accessibility is a key consideration when building truly inclusive software, and when working to foster a diverse community. Considering accessibility as we write code invites everyone to enjoy our apps, tools, and languages. This post highlights a few resources about accessibility and inclusion created by developers across our community.

Accessibility is an important first step in creating an inclusive experience for everyone, but the job doesn’t end there. Kaya Thomas emphasizes the importance of accessibility and inclusion, provides guidance on incorporating both values into app development, and shares a few compelling stories about how she became passionate about these topics in her talk from UIKonf 2019, Inclusive and Accessible App Development.

Sommer Panage and John Sundell discuss ways to provide better experiences for anyone with disabilities in episode 16 of the “Swift by Sundell” podcast: Better than accessible. To help implement accessibility features in apps on iOS, iPadOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS, Christoph Wendt created a Swift Package called Capable that provides the functionality required to keep track of accessibility settings, compute high contrast text or background colors to use in the UI, automatically scale custom fonts, and more.

For newcomers joining the community, learning Swift should be accessible and approachable, regardless of physical ability, skill level, and available tools. To help in this effort, Steven Van Impe started an open source repository called Swift Setup to provide all newcomers with beginner-friendly instructions for getting started with Swift.

Anyone in the community interested in improving the Swift developer experience is encouraged to contribute to the Swift project! To make your first contribution to Swift a more approachable and enriching experience, Varun Gandhi created a helpful guide called How to Submit Your First Pull Request. This will walk you through every step, from identifying your first task to work on, to how to ask for help when you have questions or need guidance, to creating your first pull request, and finally what to expect throughout the code review process.

To further create a welcoming experience for all contributors to a project, it’s important to make sure Swift code is inclusive to everyone working in that code. To help automate the process of auditing Swift code for exclusionary terms, Dalton Claybrook implemented an inclusive language rule in SwiftLint to identify these terms for removal.

We want everyone in our community to share the same passion for making apps and experiences that are accessible and inclusive to all. If you’re interested in making our community more approachable to newcomers, please consider contributing to the Swift project’s How-To guides or to Swift Setup. We also encourage you to share your favorite resources or examples of accessibility and inclusion in the Swift community over on the Swift Forums. Join in on the discussion here!