Archive for the "Mobile Accessibility" Topic

Assistive Technology for Users with Mobility Disabilities: Android Switch Access

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Welcome to the final post in this short series on assistive technology for users with mobility disabilities. Today, we focus on Android Switch Access. For the previous posts, please follow these links for “Computer and Mobile Phone Access for People with Mobility Disabilities” and “Assistive Technology for Users with Mobility Disabilities: iOS Switch Control.” Android’s Switch Access (Android 5 and higher) can be used with a variety of Bluetooth switches and Bluetooth keyboards. This accessibility feature allows people with significant motor disabilities to operate the device without using the touchscreen. The Android Switch Access’s purpose is to provide input and access to interactive… Read More

Assistive Technology for Users with Mobility Disabilities: iOS Switch Control

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The iOS Switch Control accessibility feature is built-in to iOS and can be used with a variety of Bluetooth switches, Bluetooth keyboards, and the iOS device’s screen. This accessibility feature allows people with significant motor disabilities to operate their iOS device. The iOS Switch Control has two modes that the user can use: item scanning and point scanning. Item scanning scans through all the elements on the page. Sometimes elements are grouped together (for example: a drop-down menu), and by selecting the group of elements, the scan mode will drill down and start scanning the individual elements in that group…. Read More

Computer and Mobile Phone Access for People with Mobility Disabilities

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Users with mobility disabilities access computers and mobile phones in an array of ways. These users include people who use wheelchairs, people with limited manual dexterity, and those with limited reach and strength. It is important to note that the baby boomer generation is starting to show age-related disabilities, including but not limited to arthritis, which can make it quite difficult and painful for them to use technology. Today, I’ll offer an introduction to the ways these users access technology, and in future articles I will go into more depth on some of these technologies. To begin, we’ll focus on… Read More

Mobile Browser Support for ARIA Roles, States, and Properties

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Last month I had the pleasure of attending and speaking at the 1st Annual IAAP Access 2015 Conference, including a session I presented on the current state of mobile browser support for ARIA.  After the session a number of people asked me to share the test results and related content which I am outlining in this post. What Was Tested? Thirty different ARIA roles (landmarks and widgets) with key aria properties (e.g. aria-expanded, aria-checked, etc.) were tested with: VoiceOver on iOS 9.1, 8.4.1, and 8.1.3 Talkback 3.6.03/4.31 on Android 5.0.2/6.0 Firefox 36.0/41.0.2 Chrome 40.0.22/46.0.24… Windows Phone 8.1 IE browser (WP8.1) /Windows 10… Read More

Designing Mobile Apps for Use by People with Cognitive Disabilities

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Introduction This post is based on a panel presentation that I gave at the 2015 M-Enabling Summit in Washington DC on June 2nd. The goal of my presentation was to raise awareness of issues regarding mobile app design and users with cognitive disabilities. Several people at the presentation commented that the issues described would benefit all users — that is true and a good reason to implement design patterns that support access by the widest range of people. One distinction that must be made though is that while these may be usability issues for all users, when an issue creates… Read More

M-Enabling Highlights Forward Thinking Innovation to Benefit All Users

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As someone fairly new to the digital accessibility industry, it was a great learning experience to be able to attend the 4th Annual M-Enabling Summit last week.  I was amazed to see how forward thinking innovations like Wearables and the Internet of Things are being used by people across all abilities.  There’s no surprise why large companies like IBM, Microsoft, and Amazon were in attendance along with progressive disruptive newcomers like Uber.  The M-Enabling Summit offers a snapshot in time of where technology is headed for the masses.  It is important to understand that many accessibility technologies often lead to mainstream… Read More

The Millennial Generation Could be Changing How Designers Think about Digital Accessibility

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I recently attended the M-Enabling Summit in Washington, DC and during my time there I was able to attend a session titled ‘Development Tools to Ensure Mobile App Accessibility’.  The session was chaired by IBM’s Frances West and included panelists from Deque, Adobe, Code Factory, and our very own CEO of SSB Bart Group, Tim Springer.  Much of the session centered on the idea that accessibility compliance thinking needs to shift into the design and development stage.  With tools like AMP for Mobile, developers can have access to the knowledge and testing to help ensure accessibility is being built from… Read More

M-Enabling 2015 and the Importance of Accessibility Training

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This week I had the pleasure of attending the 4th Annual M-Enabling Summit in Washington DC.  For those of you not familiar with the event, this summit is focused on bringing together the best international experts and leaders in accessible mobile technology. The overall approach of this event is more interactive round table discussions vs. lengthy one-sided presentations. The sessions I attended typically had 4 or 5 panelists with a session chair, and each panelist spoke for about 8 minutes that then led into interactive Q&A with the audience. One of the sessions I attended was ‘Development Tools to Ensure… Read More

The Latest Innovations in Inclusive Technologies

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I had the pleasure of attending my first M-Enabling Summit in Washington, DC earlier this week. The Summit aims to set a unique stage for identifying emerging opportunities, technological developments, and future innovations for accessible and assistive mobile applications and services. The Opening Session and Keynote at this year’s M-Enabling Summit focused on many fascinating technologies and new developing ways to interact with customers and product users. Technologies such as 3D printers, cloud-powered devices, driverless cars and facial, gesture and speech recognition offer new features, capabilities, one-off customizations and interactions that can assist user’s with disabilities. Peter Korn, Accessibility Architect with Amazon Lab126,… Read More

Android 5 Lollipop – Switch Access has Arrived on Android!

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There are several accessibility features added with Lollipop – version 5 of the Android platform that is now available on many Android models including the Nexus 5. The new accessibility features include a high contrast option that improves contrast of text, a color inversion view, options for color correction to assist people who are color blind, and switch access.  The addition of switch access builds on the keyboard support provided with Android and is a big step forward. Historically Apple’s iOS had more accessibility features such as Assistive Touch and switch access (iOS 7+) — new additions with Android are… Read More

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