Guide Dogs and Digital Devices
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Guide Dogs and Digital Devices

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Modern mobile devices have been life changing for people with visual impairment. Nic Wise will cover the wealth of accessibility functions in both Android and iOS, how to use them, and why you......

Modern mobile devices have been life changing for people with visual impairment. Nic Wise will cover the wealth of accessibility functions in both Android and iOS, how to use them, and why you would want to tailor your app for differently-abled people.

Video for the session: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D79DrH8XTeU

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  • The Nod: from Groove, 2000. “Why do you do it?” “Because at the end of the night, you get The Nod”.\n
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Transcript

  • 1. Guide dogs and digital devices. Some tips on accessibility for the visually impaired. September 6, 2012 Xamarin Copyright 2012 © Xamarin Inc. All rights reserved
  • 2. Nic Wise MonoTouch developer Xamarin Insider Coffee lover.
  • 3. Agenda• What is it?• How does Android deal with it?• How does iOS deal with it?
  • 4. What is it? Accessibility is the degree to which a product, device, service, or environment is available to as many people as possible. Accessibility can beviewed as the "ability to access" and benefit fromsome system or entity. The concept is often used to focus on people with disabilities or special needs and their right of access to entities, often through use of assistive technology. --Wikipedia
  • 5. What is it?• Allows people without full sensory ability to use and interact with technology and the wider world.• Mostly visually impaired (blind) users• Also the deaf and those with poor motor skills, and those on the autism spectrum (iOS6)
  • 6. It’s a matter of degree• Can range from 100% sight loss, to color blindness or people who are deaf in one ear.• Deafness and motor issues are handled by iOS.
  • 7. Why?• Opens your applications up to more users• Remember what it was like using a desktop app with really bad tab ordering? That. But worse.• In most cases, taking a barely accessible app and making it easy to use is an afternoons work.• Some places require it - Governments especially. Section 508 (US).
  • 8. [Two guys standing outside, smoking, after an underground rave]Guy: Why do you do this to yourself? Dont even get paid,risk getting arrested, for what?Ernie: You dont know?Guy: No.Ernie: The Nod.Guy: The Nod?Ernie: Happens to me at least once every party. Some guycomes up to me and says "Thank you for making this happen...I needed this. This really meant something to me." And theynod... and I nod back.Guy: [scoffs] ... Thats it?Ernie: Thats it.
  • 9. Android Specifically 4.x
  • 10. From a users perspective• Accessibility is available - TalkBack for visually impaired users• Large fonts (not very large)• Default skin is very high contrast.• Bare minimum. Better than nothing.
  • 11. For developers• Add 2 fields into each widget if it needs it - contentDescription and hint (for edit controls)• Enable android:focusable where needed (when used with the D-pad)
  • 12. • android:contentDescription is read when the user taps on the control and gives it focus. It should describe what the action will do.• android:hint is read when the user taps on an edit control (eg an edit box).• If you change either without the user losing focus, it will not re-read the text.
  • 13. Accessiblity services• You can customize things at a system level with Accessibility Services• Same concept as adding your own keyboard, but for accessibility functions.
  • 14. Scorecard• B-, at most• Limited control, limited use• Accessibility Services makes Android very extensible if you are a hardware maker• Better than nothing, but improving
  • 15. iOSSpecifically 5.x+, but most of this applies to 3.0+
  • 16. For the user• Very rich support - a point of pride for Apple• VoiceOver, Zoom, Large Text, white on black, speak selection.• Custom vibrations; LED flashing on alert; mono audio• Assistive Touch for people with motor disabilities• Can mean the difference between being able to do “basic” things with assistance, or not. Life changing.
  • 17. Visual
  • 18. Hearing and Learning
  • 19. Developer• VoiceOver is your primary access point.• Good news: it’s baked in! You just have to make it better.• Bad news: it does require some work (not a lot)
  • 20. UIKit• Most text-based UIKit controls work out of the box. A lot of what you are doing is streamlining and optimizing.• But what about an image button with no text?
  • 21. UIKit• Set Accessibility Label; Hint; Traits using code or Interface Builder, or turn it off
  • 22. MonoTouch• MonoTouch doesn’t support this in code out of the box.Key-value coding and an extension method to the rescue!
  • 23. https://gist.github.com/3599186
  • 24. This makes it very easy to disable unneededcontrols, and expand on accessibility-specific ones
  • 25. Scorecard• A+. Gold standard• Has been changing lives - have a look at the WWDC keynote
  • 26. • Give it a try!• Always test with VoiceOver or TalkBack, even if it’s just to see what happens• It will take it a bit to get used to, but it’s worth spending a little time on.• If your app is especially useful to the visually impaired, it can make a big difference to people who need it (eg transport or navigation apps)• Wouldn’t it be nice if we could use VoiceOver programmatically? iOS7 maybe.
  • 27. Wheelchair Rugby - aka MurderballMaking Ice Hockey players look soft since 1977
  • 28. Xamarin Seminar Please give us your feedback http://bit.ly/xamfeedback Follow us on Twitter @XamarinHQ Copyright 2012 © Xamarin Inc. All rights reserved