Mobile Accessibility User Survey

Mobile accessibility user survey aims at collecting the experiences and preferences of users with disabilities who use mobile devices for their day to day activities. Mobile apps have a vital role in lives of people in this 21st century. From checking your emails, booking travel, managing your activities, social media, reading news, paying utility bills and many more activities are done just by having a smart phone and internet connectivity.

Are these mobile apps usable for everyone regardless of their abilities? Lately we understood that people with disabilities face several challenges using these mobile apps. It is also clear from our observation that different users have different challenges and each of their preferences are different.

Through this mobile accessibility user survey we want to understand the most common and critical accessibility challenges, research on the quick, consistent and reliable solutions for those challenges. Further we want to publish a white paper quoting some facts and guiding mobile app developers, designers and businesses in creating the user friendly apps.

Please fill in this mobile accessibility user survey by 25th April, 2019. Reach us at hello@maxability.co.in should you have any questions or difficulty submitting the survey. Share the survey within your community for us to have maximum participation that leads to more robust and powerful information on mobile accessibility.

Note: We are currently restricting this survey only to the users with disabilities who are impacted with the accessibility of mobile apps and friends / close acquaintance’s of people with disabilities who have the visibility to the mobile usage of persons with disabilities.

1.4.12 Text Spacing

In content implemented using markup languages that support the following text style properties, no loss of content or functionality occurs by setting all of the following and by changing no other style property:

  • Line height (line spacing) to at least 1.5 times the font size;
  • Spacing following paragraphs to at least 2 times the font size;
  • Letter spacing (tracking) to at least 0.12 times the font size;
  • Word spacing to at least 0.16 times the font size.

Exception: Human languages and scripts that do not make use of one or more of these text style properties in written text can conform using only the properties that exist for that combination of language and script.

Description

People with low vision possibly jump between the lines while reading a paragraph of content, sometimes even difficult to recognize the spacing between characters, words, lines and perhaps paragraphs. People who have dyslexia also need sufficient differentiating space between the content to read quickly.

This success criterion 1.4.12 text spacing ensures that the users may want to use user defined style sheets, browser plug-ins or bookmarklets to increase the space between characters, words, lines and paragraphs. While increasing the space, users should not face difficulty because of content cut-off or content overlapping.

Any responsibility for developers/ content authors?

1.4.12 Text Spacing does not specifically call out for any author responsibility. However, the author should ensure that the user defined styles are obeyed by the content whatever the form in which the text spacing is set by the user. In addition when the user sets text spacing as specified in this success criterion, authors should ensure that the content is not cut-off or overlapped making reading experience even more difficult.

User responsibilities if any?

Users may want to increase the text spacing that may be comfortable for their reading experience. The success criterion 1.4.12 Text spacing have the following boundaries.

  • Spacing following paragraphs to at least 2 times the font size;
  • Line height (line spacing) to at least 1.5 times the font size;
  • Word spacing to at least 0.16 times the font size.
  • Letter spacing (tracking) to at least 0.12 times the font size;

Any content cut-off or content overlap beyond these boundaries is not a failure under this success criterion. User may even choose one or more or all of the said styles. In some languages few of these requirements may not be applicable such as content in Japanese that do not have word spacing.

Exceptions of 1.4.12 Text Spacing

  • Human languages and scripts that do not make use of one or more of these text style properties in written text can conform using only the properties that exist for that combination of language and script.
  • PDF as it is not implemented using markup.
  • Video captions embedded directly into the video frames and not provided as an associated caption file.
  • Images of text.

Note: Canvas implementations of text are considered to be images of text and are exempted from this success criterion.

 

Related Links

 

Update on CAPTCHA Accessibility! W3C need your inputs

Do you want to take part and provide inputs to the most critical digital accessibility problem, inaccessibility of CAPTCHA? Here is an opportunity for you.

Overview of inaccessibility of CAPTCHA

CAPTCHA accessibility is one of the most tricky and long existing problem for digital accessibility. It is a known fact that having only one CAPTCHA model on the web page will leave certain other disabilities and hence often websites try providing at least two modes. Still the existing CAPTCHA models leave away certain user groups.

5 years ago, I wrote an article stressing the need of Captcha accessibility and different options then available. Google’s recaptcha was introduced few years back and the feature was used by many websites. Many other options available in the market are often un-noticed. This draft by W3C Accessible Platform Architectures (APA) Working Group along with Research Questions Task Force drafted a publication. This draft publication  is out for public inputs on February 14th, 2019 and is open until March 24th, 2019.

 

Why is inaccessibility of CAPTCHA important?

WCAG 2.0 and WCAG 2.1 success criteria 1.1.1 non-text content specifically refers to CAPTCHA. So, adhering to CAPTCHA accessibility is equally important. On the other hand because of inaccessible CAPTCHA on websites many users cannot signup, login, book tickets and cannot use many important functionalities of the website.

 

What’s the update on  CAPTCHA accessibility?

In follow-up with the widely accessed publication on W3C website, the Accessible Platform Architectures (APA) Working Group, published a second draft update to the W3C Note “Inaccessibility of CAPTCHA“. The team tried documenting every possible solution available to solve CAPTCHA. This draft is out for public review and seeks your inputs. This process will ensure that the document captures as many options as possible and is as complete as possible.

To make the review process comfortable W3C have shared the following questions that may be helpful while providing your inputs.

  • Does this document fully capture current problems with CAPTCHA and related systems?
  • Are there other CAPTCHA approaches that should be added?
  • Are there concerns for certain categories of persons with disabilities that remain unaddressed or insufficiently addressed in this document?
  • Are you aware of relevant research or technological development in this area we missed?
  • Have we sufficiently addressed CAPTCHA’s problems with I18N?
  • Are issues of privacy and security appropriately addressed?
  • Have we mis-characterized any technology we discuss?

How to provide your inputs

Thoroughly read through the document inaccessibility of CAPTCHA and share your inputs.

To comment, file an issue in the W3C apa GitHub repository. If this is not feasible, send email to public-apa@w3.org (comment archive). Comments are requested by 24 March 2019.

 

Writing an Accessibility Statement for your organization

Having an accessibility statement on the website shows your commitment towards persons with disabilities. With the increase in awareness on the need of inclusive  digital content, either you have a website or a mobile app, showing your commitment towards accessibility is important.

While having relevant information on an accessibility statement acknowledges the commitment towards accessibility and improve the brand image of your business,  providing irrelevant or false information may damage the reputation.

Is it important to have an accessibility statement?

While showing your commitment towards accessibility and persons with disabilities, accessibility statement provides you an opportunity to speak about the effort you have put in for the commitment. In addition you can briefly talk about the accessibility enhancements, accessibility standards followed and the supported assistive technologies, browsers and operating systems. The accessibility statement will also give you an opportunity to be open on any inaccessible content and can share your justification or alternate methods to use such content. This statement also opens up the door for the users to share feedback which of course is the best input you can ever get.

What’s include in the accessibility statement?

The Education and Outreach group of world Wide Web Consortium WAI developed an interesting accessibility statement generation tool. According to this the following can be included as part of your accessibility statement

  1. Basic information: A brief information about your business, accessibility standards applied and contact information for feedback.
  2. Your efforts: In this section you can explain the efforts you have taken and will be taking in the future to make the website accessible. Further you can also explain the long term goals you have for the website or mobile app accessibility.
  3. Technical information: This section can explain about the technology used such as HTML, CSS JavaScript etc and how you used them to make your application accessible. This will also give you an opportunity to talk about the compatible assistive technologies, browsers and operating systems and  any known compatibility issues. You may also document the evidence for your accessibility claims such as link to an accessibility report, external quality check information, certifications if any.
  4. –Approval and complaints process: I believe it might not be possible in many situations but It will be worth mentioning the team within the organization that approved this statement. In addition if the organization have any complaint hierarchy for accessibility, this is the place to provide it.

 

Writing the accessibility statement

Writing the accessibility statement is often same as writing any other content of the page, however the Education and Outreach group of W3C have developed a wonderful tool to generate the same. All that you need to do is to provide as much information as you could on the tool and create the accessibility statement. Download the HTML file after the preview and update your website.

Have a look at the Accessibility statement generating tool and update your website today.

Sample accessibility statements

Here are few sample statements generated from the tool.

Maxability example

Minimal example

Complete example

WCAG 2.1 color contrast analyzer

During June 2018, W3C WAI recommended the new accessibility standard Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1 i.e. WCAG 2.1. Along with many new success criteria specific success criterion is added that speaks about color contrast for non-text content. While the existing 1.4.3 contrast (minimum)  and 1.4.6 contrast (Enhanced) still exist.

1.4.11 Non-text contrast

The success criteria says

the following have a contrast ratio of at least 3:1 against adjacent color(s):

User Interface Components

Visual information required to identify user interface components and states, except for inactive components or where the appearance of the component is determined by the user agent and not modified by the author;

Graphical Objects

Parts of graphics required to understand the content, except when a particular presentation of graphics is essential to the information being conveyed.

Read more about 1.4.11 non-text contrast.

Most of the color contrast testing tools still show the WCAG 2.0 success criteria only. The new color contrast analyzer from The Paciello group can identify the contrast between the non-text content and their background and analyze the conformance including the new WCAG 2.1 success criteria.

About the WCAG 2.1 Color Contrast Analyzer

The new WCAG 2.1 color contrast analyzer was released late 2018 to match with the new success criterion 1.4.11 Non-text contrast. The tool was rebuilt from the scratch using electron. Interestingly most of the features of the tool are accessible by screen reader and keyboard. More keyboard access is added in the future release I believe. Since the user interface is built with HTML elements, using the tool is usable and accessible compared with the old version of CCA.

Screenshot of color contrast analyzer showing the result as 6.71: 1 with foreground color #801243 and background color #d2d2d2
Screenshot of color contrast analyzer with color names foreground green and background red selected and contrast ratio detected as 1.3: 1. Failed for all the 3 success criteria.

Features of WCAG 2.1 Color Contrast Analyzer

The most important feature I believe is that allows the users to pick the foreground color and background color from the existing web page, design or any other digital format and find the contrast between them. This feature allows to identify the accurate contrast for existing UI. The other interesting features of the validator are

  1. Option to provide the foreground and background color values in any of the following formats to identify the contrasts in various WCAG 2.1 success criteria.
    • Hex: #FFF, #FFFFFF, #FFFA, #FFFFFFAA
    • Names: blue, grey, orange, …
    • RGB: rgb(200,200,200), rgba(200,60,60,0.3)
    • HSL: hsl(360,100%,50%), hsla(360,60%,50%,0.4)
  2. Alpha transparency support for foreground colors.
  3. Color blindness simulator.
  4. Option to switch foreground and background colors.
  5. Support to WCAG 2.1 conformance checks.
  6. Available for both Windows and Mac OS.

Where can I download WCAG 2.1 Color contrast analyzer?

The new CCA tool is developed by The Paciello Group. Additional information of the tool can be found at the  Color contrast analyzer page. The code and other information including Mac and Windows versions are at download CCA page.

Download and run the exe file to install. Once the tool is installed it will create an icon on desktop to start using it.

Switch access on Mobile

Switch Access allows the users with dexterity impairments to use their mobile device without touching the screen. Because dexterity impairment can limit individuals strength, speed, endurance, and

coordination. Persons with such difficulties cannot use their fingers to interact with a touch screen. To overcome such ability mobile operating systems have built in assistive feature called Switch access. Switch access is an assistive feature available both in IOS and Android operating systems.

Types of Switch Access

Though switch access is a built-in feature in both Android and IOS devices, to use it an external switch device is required or a feature within the device can be set as a switch. Connecting the switch access is discussed later in this article with individual operating systems.

Switch Access in Android

Switch access can be connected to external switch device keyboard or the hardware keys of volume can also be mapped to the switch access. If an external device is used then  connect it to the device either via USB or a bluetooth.

Note: Once you connect the switch device the onscreen keyboard will be hidden automatically. Users need to re-enable the keyboard from the settings > language & input.

Connecting Single, double or group switch controls

Navigate to Settings > accessibility > switch access > settings

Auto scan : When you are setting up single  switch control,  select auto scan In the switch access feature. Various options are available in auto scan, after selecting the required options tap on auto scan on.

In this method the control moves one after the other item on the screen. User is expected to select it by pressing the switch again.

Step Scan : Step scanning should be selected when you have two or more switches. While one switch navigates through the screen the other switch selects the item.

Group selection: Even a group selection can be enabled when there are two or more switches. Group selection option enables users to navigate and select items on the screen faster than auto scan and step scan.

Here are the setting up steps for switch access on Android.

Using switch Access on Android

Switch Access on IOS device

Similar to switch access in android, IOS also allow external devices to be mapped with the device While the external switch control need to be connected to the IOS device before activating it as a switch. In addition the screen or front camera  can be set as a switch control.

  • Screen: Tap the screen to use a switch or press and hold.
  • Camera: Move your head to use the iPhone front-facing camera as a switch. You can use the camera as two switches: One when you move your head to the left, and the other when you move your head to the right.

Connecting the switch controls

Once you decide which control to use for switch access,

  1. Go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Switch Control > Switches.
  2. Tap Add New Switch and choose a source.
  3. Follow the onscreen steps to choose how you want the switch to work.
  4. Remember to turn on Switch Control, so you can use your new switch.

Here are  the steps to setup and other features for switch access on IOS.

Connecting and using switch access on IOS

See also 5 ways of typing with voiceover

1.4.11 Non-text Contrast

the following have a contrast ratio of at least 3:1 against adjacent color(s):

  • User Interface Components
  • Visual information required to identify user interface components and states, except for inactive components or where the appearance of the component is determined by the user agent and not modified by the author;
  • Graphical Objects
  • Parts of graphics required to understand the content, except when a particular presentation of graphics is essential to the information being conveyed.

 

Description

1.4.11 Non-text contrast is similar to 1.4.3 Contrast minimum. People with low vision will have tough time reading and understanding the content that has poor contrast. As regular text requires 4.5 : 1 contrast between the text and background, large text requires 3 : 1 ratio between the text color and it’s background, in WCAG 2.0 non-text elements such as actionable controls, focus indicators, selection identifiers are not specifically mentioned to meet the contrast requirements. In WCAG 2.1, these active controls i.e. buttons and form fields, text on action controls, visual effects such as focus indicators,  selection identifiers, boundaries of controls indicating the hit area require a minimum contrast ratio of 3 : 1. This is equal to that of the contrast requirement of large text in 1.4.3 Contrast minimum in WCAG 2.0.

 

People with low vision should be able to identify meaningful non-text controls and visual effects without relying on any color enhancing features or applications. The clear identification of selections, focus indications and hit areas even help those who have cognitive difficulties.

1.4.11 Non-text contrast required and exceptional elements

The following are some indicative elements and exceptions. On websites the list may be more.

  • Text embedded controls, graphics, text / placeholders in text boxes need 3 : 1 contrast ratio.
  • Developer defined focus indicators require 3 : 1 contrast ratio.
  • Actionable controls require 3 : 1 contrast ratio.
  • Visual effects to notify the selection need 3 : 1 contrast ratio.
  • A focus indicator required to have a contrast ratio of 3 : 1 with its adjacent background if the focus indicator is modified by the developer. If the  focus indicator is the default supplied by the browser, contrast is not required to be 3 : 1.
  • IF the state of a control is identified by means other than color change alone, the control and the visual selection identifier does not require 3 : 1 contrast ratio.
  • The visual boundary of any control that indicates the hit area is not a requirement of this success criteria 1.4.11 Non-text contrast, however if the visual boundary is the only way to identify the control when the user focus, then the visual boundary must have a 3 : 1 contrast ratio with the adjacent background color.
  • Inactive controls on the page such as a disabled button is not required to meet 3 : 1 contrast ratio.
  • Parts of graph, controls, text or icons are not required to meet the 3 : 1 contrast ratio if they have content available in another forms such as a table in addition to text on graph, if the graphics or icons are just for aesthetic purposes or that are part of logo / brand names.

 

Happy New Year 2019

Dear accessibility enthusiasts, well-wishers, subscribers and visitors of Maxability – On behalf of Maxability family we wish you a very prosperous and happy New year 2019.

2018 has been a wonderful year for Maxability. We had 30% additional visits compared to 2018 touching the visitors almost every corner of the world. We started the quarterly webinars in 2018 and will be continuing in 2019 too. The next webinar is scheduled on January 23rd, 2019 and the topic is “Web accessibility testing with screen readers, register here. We contributed to Mobile Accessibility practices for Indian Government Websites, these are published formally in the recent past. Our Youtube channel was also started in 2018.

 

Exciting thoughts are in the process for 2019, stay tuned for the updates.

Maxability highlights in 2018

  • We reached 156 countries in 2018 with highest visits from United States. This means we are able to touch almost every corner of the globe.
  • 57049 total visits in 2018 which is 30% more than 2017.
  • Average visits per day is 156 in 2018, in 2017 this is 122 average visits per day.
  • The total visitors to Maxability in 2018 was 36493 with 9000 additional visitors compared with 2017.
  • Almost 50 articles are published in 2018 that covered few best practices, WCAG 2.1 updates and ARIA 1.1 properties.

Thank you

Thank you for reading our blogs, applying the knowledge shared by us to make web a better place. We will continue sharing the knowledge through articles, webinars and any new methods all of us think appropriate in 2019 and beyond. If you wish to see any other initiatives, for feedback and suggestions drop a note through our contact form.

Please subscribe to our Youtube channel, like Maxability on facebook, follow Maxability on twitter and subscribe with your email to our blog. Thank you if you already are following us.

Once again, A Very Happy New Year 2019, let us together make web a better place for everyone.

 

 

 

NVDA 2018.4 is released, Download and What’s new

NVDA the free Windows screen reader by NVAccess released the next version for 2018 i.e NVDA 2018.4. The release include few new features, bug fixes and developer enhancements.

What’s new in NVDA 2018.4పాతఝ

  • Performance improvements are made in using NVDA with the recent versions of firefox.
  • NVDA is now able to read descriptions for emoji as well as other characters that are part of the Unicode Common Locale Data Repository.
  • Interacting with combo boxes on the web in Firefox, Chrome and Internet Explorer has been improved.
  • Moving the mouse to the navigator object will now much more accurately move the mouse to the browse mode position in Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome and Acrobat Reader DC.
  • Performance improvements when navigating large pages with lots of dynamic changes in Mozilla Firefox.
  • In ARIA menus on the web, the Escape key will now be passed through to the menu and no longer turn off focus mode unconditionally.
  • NVDA no longer reports clickable multiple times in a row when navigating clickable content in Browse Mode.

A complete list of improvements, changes and bug fixes are available at What’s new in NVDA.

Download or update to NVDA 2018.4

Visit the NVDA download page for NVDA 2018.4. If already have an older version update to the latest version.

updating to NVDA 2018.4

  1. Press NVDA + n to open NVDA settings.
  2. Navigate to Help by pressing down arrow until you hear Help.
  3. Press right arrow to move into the help menu.
  4. Press down arrow until you hear Check for updates.
  5. Press enter Check for updates and follow the onscreen instructions.

NVDA is an open source and free screen reading solution for Windows operating system. Support the cause by donating to the NVDA project.

 

Web Accessibility Suits & Settlements in 2018

Maxability is bringing together the web accessibility suits and settlements since 2014. 5th year in a row, this article highlights some web accessibility suits and settlements in 2018.

Plaintiffs filed 4965 federal ADA Title III lawsuits in first 6 months of 2018. Among this large numbers are web accessibility suits and settlements. If the trend continues, it is expected to reach 10,000 cases with an approximate increase of 30% from 2017 according to  ADAtitleIII.com

The major web accessibility suits are reported on

  • clothing and apparel stores
  • telecommunications companies
  • restaurants
  • consumer goods
  • e-commerce stores

Web Accessibility suits and settlements in 2018

All the links below navigate to external websites.

Related links

Below are the links from past year on web Accessibility suits.