Accessibility on iOS

Session 210 WWDC 2014

iOS offers unmatched accessibility support that can help you reach a wider audience. Join us for an exploration of the features that iOS offers for users with specific needs, in areas such as vision, hearing, movement, and learning. Learn how to leverage existing and new UIAccessibility APIs in iOS 8, including expanded support for low vision users, to ensure that your app's features are available to all users.

Hi everyone.

I'm Clare and I'm on the iOS Accessibility Team here at Apple.

Today, I'll be sharing with you about accessibility on iOS, and how you can develop your apps to be used by everyone.

Our talk today is going to be in two parts.

First, I'll give an introduction to accessibility.

I'll talk about some of the features we offer on iOS currently, as well as some new things coming in iOS 8.

In the second part of this talk, I'll be showing you how you can make your apps accessible, both by adding visual accommodations, and by implementing Semantic Accessibility.

So first, what is accessibility?

Accessibility is all about making things usable for everyone.

On iOS, we look at four broad areas of user needs.

We want users with physical and motor challenges, users with learning needs, users with hearing loss, and users with different vision needs, to be able to experience iOS fully.

Our goal is equal access for everyone.

So let's look at some examples of how we accomplish this.

Some users may have a physical impairment that prevents them from using the touch screen.

In fact, their only [inaudible] device may be a switch.

A switch could be something like a button mounted on a wheelchair headrest.

So how do we make the rich touch interface of iOS usable by someone who can only use a switch?

Our answer is Switch Control.

When Switch Control is enabled, a cursor appears on the screen, and it moves from item to item with a specific timing.

When the user activates their switch, that lets them interact with a highlighted element, so they can do things like tap or scroll.

Next, let's look at learning.

iOS devices have been incredibly powerful in the classroom, because of their easy to use interface and their engaging apps.

For the same reasons, they've been great for children with autism.

But for these users, we faced some unique challenges at first.

For one, when a child with autism is learning in an app, they might decide to press the Home button.

And now the device is full of distractions.

So to address this issue, we created Guided Access, which is a way for parents or educators to keep the device in a specific app.

When Guided Access is enabled, pressing the Home button or the Lock button have no effect, and so the child can have an uninterrupted learning experience, free from distractions.

Next, let's look at hearing.

Many users with hearing loss use hearing aids to help amplify the sound around them, but traditional hearing aids come with a couple of issues.

First, they require that you carry a remote with you so that you can adjust the volume, and that can be cumbersome.

And second, call quality can be less than optimal when using a hearing aid.

When you have a phone next to a hearing aid, either the hearing aid amplifies all the sound, including background noise, or it picks up the signal from the phone's electromagnetic field, but that signal can also be noisy, creating static.

So to address these two issues, we partnered with hearing aid manufacturers around the globe to create made-for-iPhone hearing aids.

These hearing aids connect directly to your iPhone, and you can do things like adjust the volume of your hearing aids, without the need for a separate remote.

In addition, audio streams directly from your iPhone to your hearing aid, so it becomes effectively a Bluetooth headset.

And that improves call quality dramatically.

Finally, let's look at the broad area of vision.

When the iPhone was first introduced, many people were concerned that blind users would not be able to take advantage of its features.

Because if you think about it, how do you use a touch screen if you don't see the screen.

It's going to be difficult because you won't necessarily know what you're touching, and you might accidentally tap a button that you didn't mean to tap.

So to address this, we created VoiceOver.

When VoiceOver is enabled, a user can touch anywhere on screen to hear what they just touched, before they take an action like tapping a button.

We also have accommodations in our settings for users with low vision who may not necessarily need the full power of VoiceOver.

For example, some users prefer bolder fonts, in which case they can enable bold text to get thicker text.

Some users may need higher contrast, and if so, we offer several options, including the ability to reduce transparency on the system.

And finally, for users who are more sensitive to motion, we offer a Reduce Motion setting, which provides more subtle transitions.

For example, when you launch an app with Reduce Motion enabled, it cross-fades into view.

So that's some of what we offer on iOS currently to support equal access.

But we've been working hard, and I'd like to highlight just some of the new features we're offering in iOS 8.

First, Guided Access Time Limits.

Time limits are all about transitions.

When a child is immersed in an app, and then it's time to move on to the next activity, that transition can cause some anxiety.

With time limits, a caretaker can assign a specific amount of time that a child should use an app.

When the time limit is almost reached, the child receives a warning, helping them to prepare to move on to the next activity.

And when the time limit is over, the device locks.

Next, we're bringing Alex to iOS.

Some of you may have already met Alex.

But for those who haven't, I'll let him introduce himself.

Hi everyone.

I'm Alex. And I'm the US English voice.

I've been living on Macs for years, and now I'm excited to make myself at home on iOS.

So Alex will be available in all of our assistive technologies that use speech, including VoiceOver, Speak Selection, and a new feature we're introducing in iOS 8, called Speak Screen.

Speak Screen is great for anyone who might have trouble reading the screen.

When it's enabled, you can do a simple gesture or ask Siri to speak the screen to you, and the device will start reading whatever's on screen.

You also get options, like the ability to pause, rewind, or again slow down the speech.

And finally, I'd like to highlight Zoom.

Some of you may have been using Zoom for years on iOS, but we've re-imagined it in iOS 8, and have a whole new way for you to interact with it.

But before I introduce that, let's first talk about what Zoom does currently.

Zoom magnifies the entire screen, and then you use three-finger gestures to navigate.

This approach comes with a few issues.

First, if you're using three-finger gestures, that means you're covering up a significant part of the screen, especially on iPhones.

Also using three-finger gestures means it's hard to use a phone on the go.

You can't use the phone in a single hand, you always need to have one hand to hold it, and the other hand to do the three-finger gestures.

And finally, typing can be tricky with Zoom enabled.

You have the choice between zooming in on the content you're creating, or having access to the full keyboard.

But you can't have both at the same time.

So to address all of these issues, we're introducing a new windowed mode for Zoom.

And I'd like to demo that to you now.

This is windowed Zoom.

Notice how only part of the screen is magnified?

I can change what part is magnified by dragging the edge of the window with a single finger.

I can also tap the edge of the window to get resize handles, so I can change how much of the screen is magnified.

If I tap on the arrow at the edge of the window, I get a menu with several options, including the ability to adjust my Zoom level.

Now, let's go into notes.

I'm going to create a new note, and watch what happens when the keyboard comes up.

The Zoom window automatically got out of the way of the keyboard, so I have full access of the keyboard, but my content is zoomed.

And as I type, notice how the Zoom window follows my cursor.

So I can always see what I just typed.

So that's some of what we've been doing here at Apple to promote equal access for everyone.

But for the second part of the story, we need your help.

IOS is a great platform because of all the apps you guys create, and it's up to you to make sure that your apps can be used by everyone.

To that end, I'll be showing you now how you can do that with our API.

Our tutorial is going to be in two parts.

First, I'll show you how to add visual accommodations for users with different vision needs.

And second, I'll be showing you how to implement some magic accessibility.

So an assistive technology like VoiceOver can navigate your app.

Earlier in this talk, I showed some of the visual accommodations we offer on iOS for users with different vision needs.

Now, we're providing API, so you can make those accommodations in your apps as well.

We have a way for you to detect whether the user has bold text, reduced transparency, darkened colors, or Reduce Motion enabled.

And that makes it really easy for you to make specific adjustments in your app for those users.

So I'd like to show you how you can do that now, using a sample app we've created for this presentation.

Okay, so first we're going to identify some areas of our app that need visual accommodations.

To do that, I've gone to my simulator, and I've enabled several of the accessibility settings.

In this case, I've got Bold Text, Reduce Motion, and underneath Increase Contrast, I've also got Reduced Transparency and Darkened Colors.

So that way, when we build and run our app from Xcode, we'll see what a user with those settings will see.

So now, I'm going to Xcode.

I'm going to click on build and run.

So this is a simple dating app.

At the top, you have the title of the app, which is HelloGoodbye.

Notice how the title is very bold, and the background is fully opaque.

That's because we're using a standard navigation controller.

So we get the bold text and reduced transparency behaviors for free.

But because we're doing some custom UI in our app, there's still some work we need to do.

You probably already noticed how we have transparent overlays over a photo background.

When reduced transparency is on, we should really be making those opaque.

In addition, the text in the buttons should be thicker because we have bold text enabled.

Now I'm going to click on the Profile button.

So here's where as a user I can adjust my settings.

Again, we have the transparent overlay, and the text that should be bolder.

At the bottom of this view, we have a preview tab, which I can slide up to see how other users in this app will see my profile.

Notice how my info is in gray text under each of the headings.

When the user has darkened colors enabled, it would be better if that text were darker to provide higher contrast against the white background.

Now, I'm going to click on Back and I'm going to go into the Matches page.

So here's where I can see matches that the app is suggesting for me.

And I can say hello or goodbye to each one.

I like this guy's elevator pitch, so I'm going to say hello.

And watch what happens when I swipe up.

Notice how the next match animates on screen as though it's coming from far away.

So that's an example of an animation where we should provide an alternate to users who are more sensitive to motion.

And now, let's do all this, using the API in Xcode.

So the first thing we're going to address is the text.

Let's make sure that it's thicker when bold text is on.

To do that, I'm going to click on the Style Utilities file on the left, which is where all of our colors and fonts are defined.

I'm going to click on the drop-down at the top, to find our font methods.

Notice how both of these methods are returning Avenir-Light as a custom font.

Now, if we were using the system font, or the preferred font for text style API, we would be getting bold text for free.

But because we've picked a specific font to use, we also need to pick a font to use when bold text is enabled.

So to do that, I'd like to create a helper method, that returns a font name.

All we're doing here is first checking whether bold text is enabled.

If it is, we can return a thicker version of our font.

Otherwise, we can return the same font we've been using.

And now, we just need to use our helper in our 2-font methods.

So that takes care of bold text.

Now, let's look at those transparent overlays.

I'm going to click on the drop-down at the top and find where that transparent overlay color is defined.

Notice how right now we're returning an 80 percent white.

When reduced transparency is enabled, we should return a 100 percent white, so we do that here.

Okay. Now, let's make sure that the gray text in the profile preview is darker when Darken Colors is on.

To do that, I'm going to click on the drop-down again, and find where that color is defined.

So here, we're just returning gray.

Let's first check whether the user has Darken Colors enabled, and if so, we can return black instead.

Finally, let's look at that zooming animation that we saw on the Matches page, where the new match appears as though it's coming from far away.

To address that, I'm going to click on the Matches View Controller on the left.

Now I'm going to open the drop down, and find where we animate the cards.

So notice how here we're zooming the new card into view.

Now, for users who have Reduce Motion enabled, a better experience would be to fade the card into view, because that animation does not utilize a motion effect.

So I'm going to create a helper method that fades the card into view.

All we're doing is setting the alpha of the card with animation.

And then at the point where normally we would Zoom the card, let's first check whether Reduce Motion is enabled.

If it is, we use our fading method instead.

We can use the Zooming method for other users.

Okay, now let's build and run our app with these changes.

Here's our app again.

Notice how the transparent overlays are gone, and have been replaced by opaque white, because reduced transparency is enabled.

In addition, the text on the buttons is much thicker.

When I click on Profile, again, the same issues have been resolved here.

I can slide up on the View tab, and now notice how my information is darker and higher contrast against the white background.

Now I'm going to click on Back and click on the Matches button.

Again, I'm going to say hello to my favorite match, and watch what happens when I do that.

The next match fades onto view, because we have Reduce Motion enabled.

So that's how easy it is for you to make visual accommodations in your app for users with different vision needs.

Next, let's look at implementing Semantic Accessibility, so that VoiceOver users and Switch Control users can also use your app.

Semantic Accessibility is what allows an assistive technology like VoiceOver to get information from an app, and to control the app doing things like tapping buttons or adjusting sliders.

Here's an example of Semantic Accessibility at work.

Let's say I've got the calculator app open and VoiceOver is enabled.

When I touch on top of the 5 button, VoiceOver intercepts that touch, and then it asks the app what it has at that point.

The app responds with an element that represents the 5 button.

And that allows VoiceOver to draw a cursor around the 5, and to speak 5, so that I know what I've just touched.

If I then decide to tap the 5 button, I can do a double tap anywhere on screen, and that tells VoiceOver to activate the selected item.

So that's how VoiceOver users can use the calculator app.

So how do you make sure that your app works with VoiceOver in this way as well?

Well, the good news is that most Semantic Accessibility is already built into iOS, so you get a lot of stuff for free.

But you should still audit your app with VoiceOver on the device.

And there are a couple questions you should ask yourself.

First, can VoiceOver speak everything that needs to be seen?

And second, can VoiceOver do everything that a user would want to do?

Now, I'm going to be referring a lot to VoiceOver in this talk, but all of the work we're going to do in our app also applies to Switch Control, so just keep that in mind.

To set up an audit of your app for Semantic Accessibility, I recommend that you go to your Accessibility settings on the device, and set your accessibility shortcut to VoiceOver.

That will allow you to triple click the Home button to quickly enable or disable VoiceOver.

If you've never used VoiceOver before, here are some tips to get you started.

When you tap something, that selects and speaks.

So, for example, in this screen, if I tap on the accessibility table cell, the cursor moves there, and the device speaks accessibility.

If I double tap anywhere on screen, that tells VoiceOver to activate the selected item.

So, in this case, if I did that, the accessibility table cell would get pressed, and we would move to the accessibility page.

When I swipe to the right, that selects and speaks the next element.

Right now, the Back button is selected, so if I swipe to the right, the Navigation title becomes selected.

And finally, when you have a scroll view, you can use three-finger swipes to scroll.

So if I want to see more of the accessibility settings, I can three-finger swipe up to scroll down by page.

So that's all you need to know to do an audit of your own app with VoiceOver.

And now I'd like to show you how you can do that, with our sample app.

So here's our dating app running on the device.

When I triple click the home button VoiceOver on.

VoiceOver becomes enabled.

The first thing we'll do is ask ourselves that question.

Can VoiceOver speak everything that needs to be seen?

So first, I'm going to tap on the title at the top.

HelloGoodbye.

Heading.

Okay, so VoiceOver can see that.

Now, let's touch on the logo [beeping sound].

It's kind of quiet, but that sound we just heard means that VoiceOver doesn't think there's anything under my finger.

So it looks like VoiceOver users won't be able to read this logo.

Now, I'm going to tap on the profile button.

Profile button.

And VoiceOver sees that.

When I swipe to the right, that selects the next element.

So when I do that.

Matches.

Button.

VoiceOver finds the Matches button.

If I swipe to the right one more time we hear that sound, which means there's nothing else after this element.

Which is correct in this case.

So it looks like this view is in pretty good shape, except for the missing logo.

Now, I'm going to tap on profile.

Profile button.

And I'm going to double tap to activate it.

Profile, Profile, Back, Back button.

Let's swipe to the right a few times to see what VoiceOver sees.

Profile.

Heading. Your age.

19 percent.

Adjustable.

Swipe up or down with one finger to adjust the value.

So that was a little strange.

We just heard "your age," followed by "19 percent," it would make a lot more sense if VoiceOver said the age here, which is actually 37.

And the instructions said to swipe up or down to adjust the value.

So if I swipe up, watch what happens.

28 percent.

My age is jumping up by 10 years.

So it doesn't look like VoiceOver users will be able to set their age accurately right now in our app.

Now, I'm going to swipe to the right a few more times to see what else VoiceOver sees.

47. Hobbies.

Music. Swing dance.

Wine. Text field.

Double tap to edit.

Let's make sure that VoiceOver users can edit their hobbies.

So I'm going to double tap.

Text field is editing.

Music. Swing dance.

Wine.

And the keyboard came up.

So that looks like VoiceOver users will be able to do that.

Let's just make sure that the Done button, which appeared in the top right, is also visible to VoiceOver.

So I'll tap on that.

Done button.

And it is.

When I double tap.

That takes us out of editing.

So it looks like the hobbies are in good shape.

And the elevator pitch field is very similar to hobbies, so we'll skip that for now.

Now I'm going to touch on the Preview tab at the bottom.

Preview.

So it's just saying "preview," and if I couldn't see the screen with that visual indication of a tab, it might not be clear to me what this does.

I mean, I might try to double tap it, and so when I do that Preview.

Nothing happens, because this tab doesn't respond to a tap.

It needs to have a slide gesture up.

So right now, VoiceOver users cannot preview their profile.

Now, I'm going to touch on the back button.

Back. Back button.

And double tap.

[Beeping sound] HelloGoodbye, heading.

I'm going to tap on Matches now.

Matches button.

And double tap.

Matches, Matches, Back, Back button.

Okay. Again we're going to swipe to the right a few times to see what VoiceOver sees.

Matches.

Heading. Swipe up arrow to say hello, swipe down arrow to say goodbye.

Ellipses.

Okay, that's also a little strange.

Visually when you look at this logo, or this label, you see swipe up to say hello.

But VoiceOver is saying swipe up arrow to say hello.

And that's because VoiceOver is reading each of those characters literally.

So it would be better if VoiceOver described this in a more natural way.

Now, let's swipe to the right to get to the photo.

Age.

Except we didn't get to the photo.

So now let's try touching it directly [beeping sounds].

And again, I get that sound, which means VoiceOver doesn't think there's a photo there.

Now, some of you might be wondering whether that's even important.

Because after all, a VoiceOver user doesn't see the photo, right?

But it turns out it is important, so for a couple of reasons.

First, if I'm a VoiceOver user, using this app, I need to know that other people in this app can see my photo.

Even if I don't take full advantage of the photo, it's important to know that it's there.

And second, remember that Semantic Accessibility is not just about VoiceOver.

So it's always a good idea to expose any meaningful info from your app.

Okay, now I'm going to touch on age again.

Age.

And I'm going to swipe to the right a few times.

Hobbies.

32. Cooking.

Bubble tea with friends.

Travel.

If you're paying close attention, you may have noticed how VoiceOver went from age to hobbies, and then back to 32.

So when you're looking at the visual layout of this profile card, it's clear what this means, but VoiceOver users are often swiping to visit different elements, because that can be easier than touching exactly where an element is.

And so it's important to have a logical order for how these elements are visited.

It's also important for Switch Control users.

The Switch Control cursor will move from element to element in the same order.

And it's important for that order to be predictable, so that a Switch Control user can activate their switch at the right time.

Okay. So last thing, remember that our second question was "Can VoiceOver do everything that needs to be done in this app?"

The point of the Matches page is to allow users to say hello or goodbye to their matches.

But VoiceOver users won't be able to do this right now, because swipe gestures get intercepted by VoiceOver, and we'll need to provide a different way for VoiceOver users to do the same actions.

So that's the kind of process you can take with your own app to see whether it is semantically accessible.

Now, let's look at resolving those issues we encountered.

First, I'm going to introduce the most basic accessibility API.

There are only 2 properties here, and if you remember nothing else from this talk, please remember these 2.

Just by using these 2 properties, you can solve a lot of accessibility issues.

The most important property you need to know is the isAccessibilityElement property.

This is a Boolean that determines whether a view is visible to VoiceOver.

By default, it returns yes for standard UIKit controls and labels, which is why even though we haven't done any Semantic Accessibility work in our app yet, a lot of the text is already visible to VoiceOver.

And the second-most important property you need to know is the accessibilityLabel property.

This describes a view, and VoiceOver will speak this when a VoiceOver user touches on a view.

If you're creating your views in Interface Builder, you can set these properties directly from Xcode's UI.

On the right-hand side of Xcode, you'll find an identity inspector.

And there's an accessibility section there.

The Accessibility enable check box corresponds to isAccessibilityElement and the label field corresponds to accessibilityLabel.

If you're creating your views in code, it's still really easy to set these properties as shown here.

So now let's look at using these two properties and see how much more accessible we can make our app.

So the first thing we're going to do is make sure that VoiceOver users can read the logo on the first page.

To do that, I'm going to go click on the StartViewController on the left, which is where we create that logo.

So I'm going to click on the drop-down and find our viewDidLoad method.

So here's the logo.

It's just an image view right now.

And first we're going to set isAccessibilityElement to yes, so that VoiceOver can see it.

And then we also need to make sure VoiceOver describes it correctly, so we give it an accessibilityLabel.

In this case, we're just going to give it the text that's inside the logo.

Notice also that we're localizing the string, because VoiceOver speaks in many languages.

Next, let's make sure that the photo that's in the profile card can also be seen by VoiceOver.

To do that, I'm going to click on the card view clef on the left.

And I'm going to open the drop-down to find where we add our ProfileViews.

So here's where we're adding the photo.

Again, we set isAccessibilityElement to yes, and we give it an appropriate accessibilityLabel.

In this case, we're just going to call it profile photo.

Finally, let's look at the instructions for saying hello or goodbye.

Right now, VoiceOver is saying swipe up arrow to say hello.

Let's fix that.

So to do that, I'm going to click on the Matches View Controller on the left, and we're going to open the drop-down at the top to find where we add those swiping instructions.

So here's a label that says those instructions.

It's already in accessibilityElement by default, so all we need to do is change the accessibility label.

We're going to give it one that is just like the text on the label, except we're replacing those unicode arrows with words.

Now I'm going to build and run the app with these changes.

[Beeping sound] Extras folder.

Two apps. Double tap to open [beeping sound].

HelloGoodbye.

Extras folder.

Two apps. Double tap to open.

Hello goodbye [beeping sound].

So here's our app again with these changes.

The first thing I'm going to do is touch the logo.

HelloGoodbye.

Meet your match.

Image.

So now VoiceOver users can read this.

Next, I'm going to touch on the Matches button.

Matches button.

And double tap.

[Beeping sound] Matches, Back, Back button.

Let's first look at what the instructions say right now.

Swipe up to say hello.

Swipe down to say goodbye.

Okay, so that's much easier to understand.

And now when I swipe to the right.

Profile photo, image.

VoiceOver is able to see the photo in the profile.

So that's how, even with just these two properties, you've already made other parts of our app accessible.

But because we've got some more custom UI in our app, there's some additional API we'll need to use to give VoiceOver users a really great experience.

First, I'd like to introduce the concept of Accessibility Traits.

Traits describe the function of a view.

For example, in the familiar timer app, each of the wheels of time has a trait of adjustable.

And that means that its value can be changed up or down.

The Start button has a trait of button.

And that gives the user a hint that this is something that can be activated.

Again, if you're creating your views in Interface Builder, it's really easy to set these traits directly from Xcode's UI.

In the same section we talked about earlier, you'll see a bunch of check boxes for traits.

Some of these check boxes may already be checked, in which case I would generally recommend leaving those alone, but add check boxes next to traits that you think are important for your view.

In code, it's also straightforward to set the Accessibility Traits.

But just remember that it is a bit mask, so if you want to add a trait in addition to others, use a bitwise or operator, as shown here, to combine them.

Next, let's talk about Accessibility Value.

Accessibility Value is a string on properties, so in that way, it's similar to accessibility label.

Except you use Accessibility Value for things that are dynamic.

For example, you use this on views that have the adjustable trait to describe the numerical value.

Right now, in our app, the age slider has an Accessibility Value of 19 percent.

So that's a case where we can override Accessibility Value to return the age instead.

Next, we'll talk about actions.

So actions are how VoiceOver can control your app.

Two really common ones are the Increment and Decrement actions.

So these are actions that are associated specifically for views that have the adjustable trait.

And they allow the user to increase or decrease an element's value.

So again, in our app, the age slider right now can be incremented or decremented, but right now it's doing that by 10 years.

We can override these methods to allow the user to change their age by a single year.

Another really important action is the Activate action, and that's what happens when a user double taps.

Normally, when you double tap something, that just taps the view.

But you can override this method on views that respond to a specific gesture, and that way VoiceOver users can do that action as well easily.

For example, in our app, we can use this for the Preview tab, which currently only responds to a sliding gesture.

And finally, we have notifications, which allow your app to tell VoiceOver when something has changed.

One really important notification is the LayoutChangeNotification.

You should send this when you're changing the layout of your app, for example, adding or removing views.

For example, in our app right now, when you reveal the preview, VoiceOver might not realize that new elements have come on screen.

Once you post a layout change notification, VoiceOver checks to find the elements that are there currently.

Now, let's put all this together in our sample app to resolve some more of those issues we encountered.

So the first thing we're going to do is make sure that VoiceOver users can edit their age.

To do that, I'm going to go to Xcode and click on the AgeSlider class on the left.

Here let's override accessibilityValue, and that way we can return the age instead of a percentage.

All we're doing is taking the value of the slider, which corresponds to the age, and making it into a string.

Next, let's make sure that VoiceOver users can add or remove to their age by a single year.

So to do that, let's override accessibilityIncrement.

All we're doing here is adding 1 to the slider's value.

We also send the Value Change Control Event, that way other parts of our UI that rely on the slider's value can update accordingly.

We do the same thing for accessibilityDecrement.

And now, one nuance to this.

After these changes, our age slider has all the information that the user needs to know.

Namely, the user's age.

So from a Semantic Accessibility standpoint, that label that's showing up next to the slider is redundant, and might even be confusing.

So let's just hide it.

To do that, I'm going to click on the Profile View Controller on the left, and open the drop-down to find where we add that label.

To hide it, we simply set isAccessibilityElement to no.

Okay. Next, let's make sure that VoiceOver users can preview their profiles.

To do that, let's go in Xcode and click on our PreviewLabel class.

So here's our roadmap for this.

We're going to override accessibilityActivate on the Preview Label, so that we can control what happens when the user double taps.

But we need to tell the Profile View Controller to show or hide the preview.

So we'll need a way to communicate that.

To do that, let's set up a delegate protocol.

And all this delegate protocol has is a single method that we're going to call when the label gets activated.

Of course, we also set up a delegate property so that the View Controller can set itself a delegate.

Now let's go to the implementation file.

Here we're going to override accessibilityActivate.

All we're doing is letting the delegate know that the label was activated, and we return yes to indicate that the action succeeded.

While we're here, let's also add a button trait to the Preview Label, and that way VoiceOver users will have a hint that they can double tap to activate it.

To do that, I'm going to override accessibilityTraits, and first recalling super, to get any traits we would have by default.

Then we use the bitwise or operator to combine that with a button trait.

Okay. Now, let's go back to our Profile View Controller, to implement the delegate protocol.

So first, I'm going to scroll to the top of the file, and declare that this view controller implements that protocol.

Next, I'm going to open the drop down and find where we add that Preview Label to the view.

Here we set the View Controller as its delegate.

And finally, let's implement that protocol.

I'm going to scroll to the bottom.

And here we've implemented the only delegate protocol method we have.

So when the Preview Label is activated, we'll first check whether the preview is currently showing.

If it is, we can hide it.

Otherwise, we reveal it.

One additional thing.

Recall that when you hide or show the preview, you're changing the layout of the screen.

So we should tell VoiceOver that that's happened.

To do that, let's go to the implementation of reveal card and dismiss card.

So I'm going to click on the drop down of the top and find those two methods.

Both of these methods are animating the card on or off screen.

In the completion for that animation, we post the layout change notification.

Let's do the same thing down here when dismissing the preview.

Okay.

Now let's build and run our app with these changes [beeping sound].

HelloGoodbye.

Double tap to open.

[beeping sound].

Extras folder.

Two apps. Double tap to open.

HelloGoodbye.

Okay, so here we are in the app with our changes.

First I'm going to tap on the profile button.

Profile button.

And I'm going to double tap to activate.

Profile, Profile, Back, Back button.

First, let's touch on the age slider.

37. Adjustable.

Swipe up or down with one finger to adjust the value.

So notice how that's much clearer.

We're actually seeing the age now, and when I swipe up to adjust the value.

38.

It goes up by a single year.

When I swipe to the right Hobbies.

Notice how we've skipped over that redundant label to the right.

Now, I'm going to touch on the preview tab.

Preview button.

So this time, because it says it's a button, I know I can do something with this.

So I'm going to double tap.

Preview.

And notice how the preview appears.

So when I swipe to the right.

Profile photo.

Image.

I can see stuff inside the preview.

If I tap on preview again Preview button.

And double tap.

Preview.

That hides the preview, so when I swipe to the right now, I hear that sound, VoiceOver knows that the preview has gone off screen.

So that's how we can make even custom UI accessible to VoiceOver.

To resolve the last remaining issues we encountered during our audit, we're going to use some new API we've added in iOS 8.

First, let's talk about the UIAccessibilityContainer protocol.

Some of you may already realize that that isn't new, but we've updated it in iOS 8 to make it much easier to use.

For those who aren't familiar with this protocol, UIAccessibilityContainer is a way to return a list of accessibility elements from a view.

You'll need to do this if you have elements that don't correspond to views.

For example, you might have a view with a drawing in it, and you might want different parts of the drawing to be separate accessibility elements.

In that case, you would create an accessibility element for each part of the drawing, and return those elements using the UIAccessibilityContainer protocol.

And you can see last year's talk, for a great example of how to create your own elements.

But what many people don't realize is that this protocol is also a great way to return existing elements in a specific order.

So for example, if VoiceOver is navigating things in a different order from what we want, we can use this protocol to return those elements in the order that we want VoiceOver to see them.

And now for what's changed.

So currently, in order to use this protocol, there are three methods you need to override.

In iOS 8, there's a single property called accessibilityElements, which you can set to return a list of those elements, and notice how now you don't need to override subclass, and you don't have to deal with three separate methods.

So we think people are going to find that much easier to use.

[Applause]Thank you.

Okay next up we're introducing a new class called the CustomAction.

You should use CustomActions when you have more than one action for an element.

For example, in the app switcher, each of the app thumbnails can either be tapped to launch the app, or you can slide it up to close the app.

And so we expose a CustomAction for closing the app, and that way VoiceOver users can do that action easily without needing to do the sliding gesture.

In our sample app, we can also use this API to allow VoiceOver users to say hello or goodbye to their matches.

The custom matching class looks like this.

You create a custom action object with a name that VoiceOver uses to describe it.

And you also give it a target and a selector, so similar to what you would pass to a UI button.

And that determines what happens when the action is performed.

Once you've created all of your CustomAction objects, you can assign them to a view using the accessibilityCustomActions array property.

So now, let's use this in our app to fix the remaining issues.

First, what we're going to do is make sure that VoiceOver navigates the views in the profile card in the correct order.

Namely, we don't want it to go from age to hobbies and back to 32.

So to fix that, let's click on the card view class on the left.

Here's our method where we add all the profile views.

When I scroll to the bottom, after all of our subviews have been created, we can set the accessibilityElement property of our card view to an array of its subviews in the order you want them to appear.

Notice how I put the age title right next to the age value.

Whoops. Okay.

Next let's make sure that VoiceOver users can say hello or goodbye to their matches.

To do that, I'm going to click on the Matches View Controller on the left.

First, let's find out what we're doing when a user swipes up or down without VoiceOver enabled.

So I'm going to click on the drop down and find our swipe gesture recognizer handlers.

So both of these handlers are simply calling in to methods called say hello and say goodbye, which are implemented right above.

These methods are also great candidates for the selector that we pass to the CustomAction objects.

The only thing we'll need to change is make sure that they return Booleans to indicate whether the action succeeded.

In most cases, you can just return yes.

Oh, one more thing.

When you say hello or goodbye to a match, the layout changes.

So again, we're going to post a layout change notification.

Both of these methods are calling in to a helper called animateCardsForHello, which is implemented right above.

So in the completion for this animation, we should post our layoutChangedNotification.

Okay. So that's all the setup we need.

Now, let's create those CustomAction objects.

I'm going to click on the drop down at the top and find where we add the card to the Matches page.

So here's where we're creating the card, and we're assigning swipe gesture recognizers to it.

Alongside those swipe gesture recognizers, let's now create our CustomActions.

First, I'm going to create an action for saying hello.

So here's how that looks.

We give it a name, which in this case is simply say hello.

We pass in the View Controller as a target, and as a selector, we pass in the method that we just modified to return a Boolean.

We do the same thing for saying goodbye.

And now, we want the user to be able to say hello or goodbye wherever they are in the profile card.

So for every element in the card view, we're going to set it's accessibilityCustomActions property to an array of these two actions.

Okay. Now, let's build and run with these changes.

[ Background Sounds ]

Double tap to open.

HelloGoodbye [clicking sound].

HelloGoodbye.

Okay. Let's tap on Matches.

Matches button.

And double tap to activate.

[Beeping sound] Matches.

Matches. Back.

Back button.

So the first thing I'm going to do is tap on the photo, and start swiping to the right to see what order VoiceOver sees these elements.

Profile photo.

Image. Age.

32. Hobbies.

Cooking. Bubble tea with friends.

Travel.

So that's much easier to understand.

Next, let's touch any element in the profile card.

In this case, I'm going to touch on the photo.

And listen to what it says.

Profile photo.

Image. Swipe up or down to select a CustomAction.

So we're given the option to choose one of the actions we created.

When I swipe down Say hello.

I hear the description of the action.

If I want to take that action, I can double tap, [clicking sound] and so now VoiceOver users can also say hello or goodbye to their matches.

And that's how easy it is to use the new API we've added in iOS 8.

[ Applause ]

So we've come to the end of our talk, and there are a few takeaways I'd like you to have when you leave.

First, iOS users are diverse.

Keep in mind that there may be users of your app who have different needs, which you should accommodate.

When you accommodate more users, you're widening your user base.

When more people can use your app, more people will.

And finally, adding accessibility is a low effort, high reward business.

We've just seen how, with only a few code changes, we took an app that was just unusable for many users, and made it into an experience that they, too, can enjoy.

So without needing a lot of work, you can make a real difference to users.

For more information, you can contact our Evangelist, Jake Behrens, or you can consult the Accessibility Programming Guide for iOS.

There is also the developer forums.

So you can ask other developers your questions.

There are several related sessions to this one.

Prior to this talk, we had a talk about accessibility on OS X.

If you missed it, you can watch the video.

Tomorrow there will be a talk about designing apps for people on the autistic spectrum.

And on Friday, you can learn how to make even complex web applications accessible.

Thank you all for coming.

I hope you enjoyed the talk.

And have a great rest of the conference.

[ Applause ]

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