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[EPIC] Improve iOS app accessibility for the disabled
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We've gotten a couple reports of problems with the new app from blind users reliant on the VoiceOver screen reader feature on iOS. Some of these should be easy to address, others we might have to research.

  • many of the buttons don't get read out at all, probably because of the way we're using icon characters. There should be an accessibility field on UILabel/PaddedLabel that we can use for this. Might also need to make sure proper accessibility role is set so it's clear the active ones are buttons and not just labels.
  • links in content frequently have redundant text in the titles, reading out "Wikipedia (Wikipedia)" or such. We should ensure these are suppressed when they're the same as the link text.



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I'd like to take a pass at general accessibility issues in the new 5.0 UI prior to full production release. This issue should be fixed/validated as part of that.

MBinder_WMF raised the priority of this task from Low to High.Jan 21 2016, 12:38 AM

@BGerstle-WMF this is tagged as "patch for review" is there an outstanding fix we need to merge, or is this tag old/inaccurate?

@JMinor those tags are old (gerrit patches for older versions of the app). We can remove the tag manually if the intent is to use this as an "epic" ticket to track accessibility work

that said, there _are_ PR's coming in from @hhanke to pick the lower-hanging accessibility fruit :-D

@BGerstle-WMF I have just reported two issues relating to Switch Control rather than VoiceOver. Being aware of this but not being able to decide whether you would prefer to create another "umbrella" issue for accessibility problems with Switch Control or whether you would prefer to rename this task, I have opened these as subtasks of this issue for now so that all the people interested in accessibility work get notified.

What would you prefer? Open another umbrella issue for Switch Control and move these two new tasks there or use this issue for all accessibility work?

In the later case I think we should change the title, perhaps to "iOS app accessibility problems", as well as the description. And perhaps remove the Patch-For-Review tag as @JMinor suggested and perhaps also the WorkType-NewFunctionality. They always get included when creating a new subtask and I think they are not accurate.

@JMinor i've moved this task up from the backlog and suggest we consider it our "5.0 Accessibility" epic. Anything that prevents people from being able to use the app due to lacking accessibility should be attached this as a blocking task. I'll see about resolving the already-implemented tasks by @hhanke & @dusek

Getting close! Two tasks are in development, one is pending design.

@JMinor this is a lot of tasks, should we "epic" and "milestone" this parent?

MBinder_WMF renamed this task from iOS app accessibility problems in VoiceOver mode to EPIC: iOS app accessibility problems in VoiceOver mode.Feb 8 2016, 11:09 PM

@MBinder_WMF Maybe we should also remove "in VoiceOver mode" from the title since we are also tracking other accessibility issues here?

@BGerstle-WMF It is great to see that we are making good progress :-) This is encouraging! At the same time, there are still issues for which we didn't file tasks yet. Would it make sense that I now concentrate on adding tickets for the remainder of the identified issues?

@JMinor thoughts on above title change (removing "in VoiceOver mode" as this ticket may encompass more than that)?

@hhanke If there are more tasks that need to be filed, best to put them in Wikipedia-iOS-App-Backlog, where they will arrive in the Needs Triage column and the team can sort them properly, including additional tagging and blockers. It's the first step in the process and really helps them stay aware of new tasks. :)

JMinor renamed this task from EPIC: iOS app accessibility problems in VoiceOver mode to EPIC: iOS app accessibility problems.Feb 8 2016, 11:56 PM

Title changed.

Thanks again @hhanke for all the guidance and work in this area.

Please go ahead and file any additional issues you've seen into tickets on the board @MBinder_WMF mentioned. That will help us better understand the whole scope of the effort, triage severity of specific problems, and allow others to potentially pick up work you've identified.

@BGerstle-WMF @MBinder_WMF @JMinor I Believe I have now added tickets for all the most important issues from our report, the ones that I consider being the most significant barriers to disabled people using the iOS app. Please feel free to sort and tag them as necessary.

There are still other accessibility issues for which I did not create tickets yet, I will add them as we go on, and of course also more and more thorough testing is needed. It will also be important to re-test the current version for any possible regressions in accessibility introduced due to new development. But solving the issues that are reported here now would definitely be a big improvement in accessibility.

I also found that a couple of issues not reported here yet were resolved in the meantime as a side effect either of our work on other issues here or of other improvements done to the app. That is of course great :-)

When substantial progress has been made on this front, and the team want to get the word out on a new version with these improvements, I think it would be good to dedicate a blog post to this. Also apparently is a good place to leave a note for interested parties.

No, per hhanke's comment the letter of the task is implemented but not the spirit. We added close buttons, but did not succeed at making them accessible. Will need to work on this more with 5.0.1.

JMinor renamed this task from EPIC: iOS app accessibility problems to [EPIC] Improve iOS app accessibility for the disabled.May 24 2017, 6:06 PM

I'm going to lower the priority on this epic, as many of the specific issues have been addressed. We'll continue to make additonal improvements as we go.

JMinor lowered the priority of this task from High to Medium.Mar 13 2018, 5:47 PM

Okay, all thats left here are:

  • Switch Control for users with limited dexterity
  • Issues with the VoiceOver cursor persistence and placement

We'll continue to chip away at the second issue, however I may fork Switch Control into its own task, as its not clear when we'll get to that.

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Closing this epic, as the remaining subtasks for SwitchControl and VoiceOver have been moved to separate tasks: