10.14.x App & Applet, Accessibility & Automation Madness

Just FYI . . . 

The following was submitted to Apple at https://www.apple.com/feedback/macos.html (788 character limit):

Greetings, folks!

With every boot into macOS 10.14.x (the best since 10.4.11!), I get multiple alerts asking for authorizations, especially those involving System Events.

The apps and [stay-open] applets that continue to request authorizations are listed in the Accessibility and Automation panes as having full permission to work with other apps, including System Events.

This is a serious challenge for admins who require workflow automation.

I emphatically request that sys. admins be allowed full access to the Automation pane so that we can add apps and applets, granting them full system authorization, and not have to list every single app and applet with which they are allowed to interact.

What is currently in place is, quite honestly, madness.

Blessings, and thank you!

Focus style accessibility – Is colored underline enough of a change?

I am currently assessing styles for accessibility for a project onto which I am working. Overall, the layout has a black background (#050000) and text and components are either beige (#FEF0D6) or white. All this is has a fine contrast, as per WebAim’s contrast checker.

My worry is that the focus styles are using an orange underline/outline (#E87C29) which is not contrasted enough with the white or beige (respectively 2.85:1 and 2.53:1), meaning that it is likely that the focus would not be visible enough.

There is an alternative color available in the branding styleguide, a green, that could be used since it has a greater contrast.

My question is: am I correct in thinking that the contrasting colors should not only be in a static reading of a layout, but also in between states?

Forms with conditional sections – Accessibility

Business banking space. I have a very long form, broken into multiple sections, across several pages, with Save, etc.

We only support Eng and Fre as languages. But the business could be anywhere, so we can’t assume one phone format.

Some pages of the form have yes/no questions that drive whole sub-sections to appear. eg. if you check ‘I am in school’ box, you will be required to fill out several more fields about your school. (This would occur on the same page, not a separate page).

I am mindful of the need to not mess with context for visually-impaired users.

Is it all right to have the subsection hidden or collapsed until the user checks the box, and then it expands? How will a screen reader deal with that?

Accessibility Guidelines for saving changes to boolean controls in a web app

We currently have some settings pages in a web app where there is a list of controls with checkboxes, so you can enable/disable certain features. We also have a save option below these that is disabled until a change is made to the previous checkboxes.

We are trying to conform this form to be more accessible and the current approach is to simply not disable the save option, but throw an error if no change has been made and a success message on a successful change.

This doesn’t seem like it makes the form more usable but only helps to get around the accessibility rule that a submit button shouldn’t be disabled. However, from an interaction perspective, the affordance of the disabled look of a button lets a user know that their work isn’t complete.

There’s 3 possible solutions I’ve come up with for this scenario:

  1. Maintain a READ view of these controls where no action can be taken unless clicking EDIT to change the controls. in EDIT mode, the checkbox options are available as well as SAVE & CANCEL and **SAVE* would be disabled until a change was made (not sure if this passes accessibility, but at least makes the idea that you are “editing these fields and must save it” more deliberate).
  2. Style the button like a disabled button but use HTML to treat it like a regular button. If clicking the button, we can display a warning that states “You did not make any changes. Please change some controls in order to save”.
  3. Change the checkboxes to be a switch-style component that simply autosaves, which takes the “Save” button out of the equation.

If any accessibility inclined people have thoughts on which of these options (or some alternate that I didn’t think about) would improve the usability of this scenario while making it accessible, please let me know.

Accessibility for deaf or hard of hearing users

Going through the accessibility posters from the UK Home Office I found something I can’t understand. In the section about Designing for users who are deaf or hard of hearing they recommend to do not use:

  • Complicated words or figures of speech.
  • Complex layouts and menus.

What’s the rationale behind this? How this impairment affects your abilities to read complex text and navigate complex layouts? Are there scientific studies to corroborate this suggestion?

How do I activate the accessibility keyboard in the lock screen for macOS?

I would like to use the accessibility keyboard to both login and unlock my mac. I followed this guide to enable the keyboard at login which worked perfectly! However, when i lock my computer, it does not appear on the unlock screen.

I need the accessibility keyboard to appear on the unlock screen by itself, without requiring a keyboard shortcut.

Any help is greatly appreciated.

What are the best ways on a sub-500 budget to test for mobile accessibility?

I am familiar with website accessibility at least in terms of WCAG 2.0, Section 508, etc. But I am currently designing a mobile app (cross platform using React Native tools) and there do not seem to be many guidelines specifically for mobile apps either. In this case, what are the best ways – on a small (less than $ 500) budget – to test for mobile accessibility?

I am wondering if getting together a diverse set of testers and paying for their time would be better and more efficient in this regard, or would it be better to invest in other UX tools (sight tracking? Maps?). I will be testing using VoiceOver and TalkBack myself but I can’t test all possible combinations of phones/tablets and flavors of Android, for example, let alone different combinations of assistive technology.

Current Android device admin API and accessibility API Play Store restrictions

In late 2017, Google started restricting device admin API and accessibility API for all future and current Play Store apps that don’t use them for their intended purpose, but they stopped restricting it for 30 days to reevaluate it and then all the news stopped.

I couldn’t find anything in the Google’s developer content policies. Does anyone know what are the current restrictions regarding device admin API and accessibility API? Thanks!