So I attended the first day of Google I/O 2011, my first time at a Google event. I was glad to hear a fair amount of talk about accessibility. There were at least 3 sessions focusing on the topic (see below) and a breakout area where you can talk with developers.
There was even an accessibility “Developer Sandbox” area which was great. I tried out the ChromeVox screen reader on a Chromebook with help from Google’s Rachel Shearer. I got a quick demo of the built-in TalkBack screen reader on an Android mobile device. Mika Pyyhkala and I were shown the LevelStar braille device running Android. The University of Washington showed off their mobile ASL Android project which used video chat technology.
Some tips for Android development from the sessions are:
- In Android code, ensure images, especially ImageButtons, are labeled with
- Use standard controls.
- Stick with standard or modified views; custom very complex to make accessible.
- Ensure all controls reachable with D-pad and Trackball.
- Test with screen reader using D-Pad. To turn on, enable accessibility under Settings/Accessibility, then enable Talkback.
- Take advantage of device’s “many eyes and ears” for alternative input/output (microphone, speaker, touch screen, camera, GPS)
The sessions specific to accessibility were:
- Accessibility: Building Products that Everyone Can Use by Brad Green, Erin Rosenthal (on YouTube)
- Leveraging Android Accessibility APIs To Create An Accessible Experience by Charles Chen, T.V. Raman, Tim Credo (on YouTube)
- Creating Accessible Interactive Web Apps using HTML5 by Dominic Mazzoni, Rachel Shearer (on YouTube)
- Added via comment below: The YouTube Caption API, Speech Recognition, and WebVTT captions for HTML5 by Naomi Black, Cynthia Boedihardjo, Jeffrey Posnick (on YouTube)
- My Flickr album from Google I/O 2011
- Google Accessibility Resources for developers and publishers: APIs, captioning, and standards
- Android Developers – Designing for Accessibility
- The official Google I/O 2011 announcements
Tim Credo, Charles Chen, and T.V. Raman on stage at Google I/O.