Trickle Down Accessibility – CSUN Preview

Matt May tweeted an observation in 2016 introducing Trickle-Down Accessibility and recognized prioritizing our blind customers could lead to less support for others.
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I will be discussing Trickle-Down Accessibility at the 2018 CSUN Assistive Technology Conference on Wednesday, March 21 at 2:20 pm in Cortez Hill C, 3rd Floor, Seaport Tower.

The following is the proposal for this presentation. I will publish the final presentation for further details.

Trickle-Down Accessibility Proposal

Trickle Down Economics[1] suggests economic growth benefits all members of society. The focus is on tax benefits for corporations and the higher income population, as they have the potential for making larger impacts in economic growth. Providing financial incentives to this population will, in theory, eventually result in higher prosperity for all.

Matt May’s observation on Twitter in 2016 raised awareness of Trickle Down Accessibility:

“Watching a blind advocate tell someone with another disability to center blind issues first and wait for the benefits to trickle down. Wow. [2]

Focusing on screen reader accessibility has distinct advantages for product developers. If your application works with a screen reader, it should also be usable with a keyboard, voice recognition, and switch control devices. Screen reader accessibility also falls in line with automated testing tools.

However, there are many disabilities, and assistive technologies, that are not necessarily benefited by this focus on the blind/low-vision community. Color contrast, closed captioning, readability, consistency in design, user customization, session timeouts, and animation distraction are just a few examples of concerns that often go unaddressed.

Continue Reading Trickle Down Accessibility – CSUN Preview

Google IO 2017 – Accessibility Notes

Building an accessibility team

The project champion needs to make sure training is available to all people on the team.

  • Create a set of primary and secondary key work paths, i.e. put an item in a shopping cart (first) change avatar image (secondary)
  • Add a checklist and try user testing

Resources and Ideas:

What’s new in Android Accessibility

Accessibility | Android Developers

Accessibility is an important part of any app. Whether you’re developing a new app or improving an existing one, ensure that components are accessible to everyone.

Why develop for accessibility

  • 1 in 5 people will have a disability in their life. – 2010 census
  • Designing for accessibility benefits blind, low vision, and eyes occupied (driving)

Android includes 4 types of assistive technology:

  • TalkBack: Screen reader
  • BrailleBack: Braille output for refreshable braille devices
  • Switch Access: switch control of device
  • Voice Access: control device by voice activation: “scroll up”

Android O’s major focus: increase productivity for users

  • new api additions for accessibility
  • print disabilities (reading disabilities)

New to TalkBack

accessibilityVolume: adjust audio volumen for accessibiity independently from media. So you can watch youtube and control that separately than talkback. This is available when talkback is on.

Volume from youtube is quieted while talkback is being used. it then fades back into the foreground. There’s a new accessibility volume slider

New gestures for talkback.

If there’s a fingerprint sensor on the back of the device, it can be used by talkback users. The sensor has its own set of customizable gestures. For instance,  swipe up on the fingerprint. These can be assigned, such as longpress action

Quickly enable/disable TalkBack

long press the volume keys to quickly turn on/off talkback.

this works on any screen, this makes it easier to test apps and turn off talkback to type information. Press both keys at the same time for a long press and eventually it will turn on/off talkback. the accessibility shortcut can be assigned to switch control, zoom, or other service.

New Text to speech engine can handle multiple languages. Use LocaleSpan to trigger language switching.

2 new APIs

Continuous Gesture API: enable motor impaired users who use head tracker to perform drag and drop, zoom, etc.

Accessibility Button:

A new accessibility button is located in the navigation bar. This allow users to quickly invoke context dependent accessibility features. This sits in the row with back and home buttons

Print disabilities

People with dyslexia, low vision, learning new language… They can now use select to speak. part of talkback 5.2. Select element on screen and talkback will read it. It has a floating action button to enable.

In android o. read whole page, and advanced controls, word level highlighting, set up wizard.


manual testing: try your app with TalkBack and SwitchAccess.

  • if it is ok in talkback, it should be good for brailleback and select to speak
  • if it works with switch access, it should also work with voice access.

Accessibility Scanner, free app to download on play store. Android's Accessibility Scanner

This analyzes the current screen and provides an audit that can be shared.

The accessibility test framework is still requiring espresso and/or robolectric

Android Accessibility Documentation

Android has a new developer hub for understanding accessibility. There’s a page for Android testing.

Web4All Conference Notes – Day 3

Crowd sourcing accessibility evaluations

2013-6: 350 government web sites and 2,000 non-government sites have been evaluated for accessibly in China

conformance testing included

  • Automatic Evaluation
  • Manual Assessment

Crowd sourcing can integrate the power of crowds to solve the manual assessment bottleneck

It was proposed in 2006 and has been used in reCaptcha, spoken wikipedia, labeling.

the current crowd sourcing is not suitable for web accessibility because the assessment tasks require a high level of expertise and experience.

There was an assignment of tasks. The results were compared to

  • total work
  • time out
  • give up
  • errors detected.

An algorithm was developed to compare these values to determine a cost model. This allows them to look at historical data to find that a person is more efficient at one of the rulesets. For instance a completely blind person may be great at form labels but not at color contrast.

Assessment of semantic taxonomies for blind indoor navigation based on a shopping center use case

Location-based services (LBS)

  • many LBS are available  thanks to smart phones
  • provide turn by turn navigation support using vocal instructions
  • we know little about what environmental elements an features are useful, such as tactile paving or braille buttons

The did a survey of taxonomies

Looking at these data sets, they created a simplified taxonomy based on their similarities

  • Pathways
  • doorways
  • elevators
  • venues
  • obstacles (not included in the previous taxonomies)

These elements defined by their fixed positions within floor map. Vocal instructions use this information to generate vocal instructions. Locate tactile paving:

  • “proceed 9 meters on braille blocks, and turn right”
  • “proceed 20 meters, there are obstacles on both sides”

Announcements of obstacles and tactile paving was confusing and unnecessary for one guide dog user.

Do web users with autism experience barriers when searching for information within web pages

The study looked at eye gazing to see if there was a difference between two groups: with and without autism.

With a series of search tasks, the group with autism had less success than the control group for completing the tasks.

tracking the eye gaze. Five elements: a, b, c, d, e. Their eye map could be a-b-c-e-d

Check the variance between the two groups.


The #DysMusic study is creating a language independent test for detecting #dyslexia in children. #w4a2017 @luzrello

Most dyslexia detection tools are still linguistics based, which isn’t appropriate until the child is already 7-12 years old. This study tries to find a detection method that is non-language based, this would allow detection at a much younger age.

There is a memory game with music elements.


  • Find the matching sounds
  • distinguish between sounds
  • short time interval perception

Raw sound is modified via frequency, length, rise time, rhythm.  Only one property is modified at a time. People with dyslexia tend to have trouble detecting rise time changes.

Accessibility Challenge

Producing Accessible Statistics Diagrams in R

Data visualization is increasingly important. R is an existing language for statistics. Jonathan (co-writer) had been using R to output printed diagrams of statistics. They worked together to convert R into an accessible SVG format

Histograms and Boxplots were discrete data presentations  targeted layout for the initial project. Time series and scatter plots are continuous data graphs

Extract the important data points, convert it to an xml document, and attach this to the SVG. The final experience provide easy navigation (arrow keys), supports screen readers via aria live regions.


GazeTheWeb is a simplified browser designed for eye tracking navigation. #w4a2017 #a11y

Math Melodies

Math Melodies makes math easier to learn for children that are blind or low-vision. Math exercises as puzzles, audio icon maps, different exercises. It was funded via crowdfunding and has been downloaded 1400 times


NavCog is a navigation project from CMU for blind individuals. It uses low energy blue tooth beacons.

Installation of the beacons is not scalable across large areas. To crowd source the task, they created a set of instructions to walk through the process of configuring and installing the beacons.


LuzDeploy is a Facebook messenger bot: easy to use.


VizLens is a crowd sourced interpretation of interfaces, such as microwave oven. Multiple volunteers are recruited to generate labels for the interface. the app then uses augmented reality to virtually overlay the labels.

Chatty Books

Chatty Books is an html5 + Daisy reader that creates an audio version of documents. It can now convert from pdf to multimedia Daisy.

  1. PDF – NiftyReader (text)
  2. export to multimedia daisy or epub3
  3. drag and drop to chatty books, the daisy player and library
  4. upload daisy content to chatty books service (cloud) and use chatty books app on iPad

Able to read my mail

Simplified email program for people with learning and intellectual disabilities. Gmail plugin that converts to simplified text or pictograms.

Closed ASL Interpreting for online videos

Created a framework for incorporating an interpreter. Closed Interpreting, instead of Closed captioning.

the interpreter window needs to be flexible to allow the user to move it around and change size to reduce distractions. IT’s closed, so i can be turned on/off

Moving the eyes back and forth for long periods of time can be exhausting. so the window can be moved to be closer to the screen’s content.

eye-gaze tracking to pause the video when looking away from the video.

Closed Interpreting [CI]

Provide a video interface that allows closed interpreting, like closed captioning. The interface provides a second screen that includes an ASL interpreter

The users appreciated the ability to customize the interpreter’s location. They also liked the ability to pause the interpreter as the gaze moved from content to the interpreter

Web4All 2017 notes for April 3, 2017

Microsoft’s Inclusive HIring

Microsoft’s David Masters started the day with a keynote discussing Microsoft’s Journey Towards Inclusion

Microsoft has had a cultural shift in the last 18 months.
Their new mission statement is:

Empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more

Continue Reading Web4All 2017 notes for April 3, 2017

Notes from Web4All 2017 Day 1

Web4All 2017 kicks off with several talks about the Gig Economy, Remote employment, and the current employment opportunities for people with disabilities in Australia and around the world. Continue Reading Notes from Web4All 2017 Day 1


Web4All 2017 Day 1 Notes

The Australian Human Rights Commission has begun a study on employment discrimination for the older workers and those with a disability.

While about a quarter of the population is older, they make up just 16 per cent of the workforce. Australians with a disability make up 15 per cent of the working age population, but only 10 per cent of them have jobs.

The inquiry will seek to identify the barriers that prevent people from working, and in consultation with employers, affected individuals and other stakeholders establish strategies to overcome these barriers.

Willing to Work

The Australian government has historically had a higher unemployment rate for PWD than other countries.

Web Accessibility National Transition Strategy was influenced by the work done in European countries. Unfortunately, the tools were not accessible when it launched. So people with disabilities had trouble accessing the participation forms.

Web Accessibility National Transition Strategy PDF version
Continue Reading Notes from Web4All 2017 Day 1