What’s New in Accessibility 

Session 202 WWDC 2016

Explore the new accessibility features for iOS, tvOS, and macOS. Gain specific knowledge of how best to adapt your app to make it accessible to everyone, regardless of their physical or learning abilities. Learn from the experts about advanced accessibility topics and how best to structure your app interface for accessibility.

[ Music ]

Hi everyone.

I’m Conor Hughes, an engineer on the Accessibility Team here at Apple.

And welcome to What’s New in Accessibility.

Today we’re going to learn about some cool new assistive features in our operating systems and learn about what you need to know to make sure your apps are usable by everyone.

So let’s get started.

So accessibility is a big word and many are not familiar with it.

What does it mean?

To us, accessibility means making a system usable for everyone, with all of their unique needs.

This means both designing in accommodations for people with different needs and being careful about your basic design to avoid issues.

This being WWDC, we’re going to focus on accessibility on Apple platforms where we’re concerned with four major classes of ability: Motor, vision, hearing and learning.

Motor encompasses things like Parkinson’s and Multiple Sclerosis and affects things like the ability to push with force on the screen or accurately tap targets.

Vision accommodations encompass both blindness and partial vision loss.

Hearing covers hearing loss of various gradations.

And learning, which includes things like dyslexia and autism.

Our operating systems can do a lot to provide accommodations in all of these areas.

But apps are a core part of our platform experiences.

So for our platforms to be truly accessible environments, we need you to make sure your apps are accessible as well, which is why we’re so happy that you’re here to learn about how to do just that.

So let’s go over what we’re going to talk about today.

First we’ll go over some of the new assistive features in Mac OS, iOS, watchOS and tvOS so you can see some concrete examples of how software can provide accommodations for people with different needs.

Then we’ll take an iOS app as our example and audit it for accessibility issues.

Then dig into the APIs that you can use to make sure your apps are accessible.

And finally, we’ll use those APIs to fix the issues we identified in our audit, including using some new API we think you’re going to love.

So what new assistive features do we have to show this year?

Well, there are quite a few, so let’s go through and take a look at what’s new in each major area.

First off, motor.

So some people may only be able to interact with their devise through pressing a single physical button, for instance a switch on a wheelchair headrest.

They can interact with the rich touch interface of iOS, for instance, through Switch Control, which presents a cursor which moves through the interface elements on screen.

When someone wants to interact with the element under the cursor, they press their switch.

Switch Control lets people with motor disabilities do everything from simple taps to complex gestures.

iOS and OS X have had Switch Control for several years.

So what’s new?

Well, we’re excited to announce that we’re bringing Switch Control to tvOS.

Now, people who use Switch Control can use it to directly interact with the tvOS interface.

The familiar Switch interface is available with that cursor that highlights elements onscreen.

Or an alternative interface is available with an onscreen remote.

And what’s more, people can do this without repairing their switch.

Someone using Switch Control on their iOS device or their Mac can immediately start controlling their TV totally autonomously without any external help.

We think this is a huge improvement.

And we can’t wait for people to try it out.

Next up, Dwell Control.

There are a number of assistive technologies that track someone’s focus when they’re using their computer.

So they may take the form of tracking a reflective dot on a headband, or actually tracking eye movements.

Dwell Control is a new feature in Mac OS, which integrates support for these devices by allowing them to control the mouse.

When the mouse dwells on a certain location, Dwell Control presents a timer [inaudible].

And when a timer expires, it invokes an action, for instance a mouse click.

This allows someone to control their Mac without having to manipulate the mouse.

And of course, it’s customizable with custom actions, just like Switch Control.

So next, let’s look at vision.

So, for many years Mac OS and iOS have supported features like invert colors and gray scale to help people increase the contrast of the content on their device, deal with light sensitivity or work around color issues.

This year we’re expanding that support across Mac OS, iOS and tvOS.

We’ve added color adjustments to help people with color blindness, which can help something that appears like this, appear more like this.

And we’ve also added the ability to tint the entire display a certain color, which can significantly increase reading ability in people who find reading black on white text difficult.

So in watchOS, someone using VoiceOver can have the time spoken aloud to them by raising their wrist or tapping on the watch face.

But sometimes they may want to discretely check the time without disturbing those around them.

So in watchOS 3 we’re introducing Taptic Time.

Taptic Time is a VoiceOver feature that uses a series of distinct taps from the Taptic engine to help someone tell time silently and discretely.

So iOS has a lot of features that help people with visual disabilities discover and interact with the content on their device.

But what about their physical environment?

In iOS X we’re introducing a feature called Magnifier.

Magnifier is available from anywhere in iOS.

And it lets someone use their device’s camera to magnify objects in their physical environment.

And I’d love to show that to you now.

Okay, so I’m going to turn on Magnifier by going into Settings, General, Accessibility, Magnifier and flipping the switch.

Now I can turn on Magnifier by just triple clicking the Home button.

So here we are.

So, if I want to read what’s on this bottle of medicine, for instance, I can just zoom in quite far.

I have access to things like the camera torch for a low light environment.

I can lock focus on a certain focal length.

And in case I have trouble keeping the device steady, or I’m pointing at something far away, I can take a freeze frame here with the Center button.

And we captured this image at the device’s native camera resolution, so we can zoom out and in, move around.

And Magnifier also supports various color filters to help someone increase the contrast.

So for instance, maybe I find this grayscale, maybe inverted grayscale, increase the contrast a bit.

So that’s pretty easy for me to read.

Okay, so that’s an example of Magnifier on iOS X.

Okay, so what’s new in hearing?

iOS has supported hardware TTY devices for some time.

TTY technology allows someone with hearing loss to hold text conversations over standard telephone calls.

Here is what an existing TTY machine looks like.

As you can see, it’s fairly large and probably difficult to carry around.

But it’s incredibly important for someone who’s deaf, especially when you factor in relay operators who translate from TTY to voice, allowing someone using this machine to contact businesses, services and family and friends who may not be using one.

We thought it would be great if the functionality of this device was available to everyone without any additional hardware.

So new in iOS X anyone can play software TTY phone calls in a familiar interface without having to use any additional hardware.

These calls work with legacy TTY technology and make it easy to dial a non-TTY number through your carrier’s relay service.

Plus, it has built in TTY-specific quick type predictions so it fits in with existing TTY user culture.

And finally, learning.

Dyslexia is an incredibly common learning disability affecting the ability to read and write of millions of people around the world.

In iOS X we’re excited to bring a number of enhancements designed to help people with dyslexia.

We’ve implemented improvements to Speak Selection and Speak Screen to help people better understand the text that’s already been entered.

And we’ve implemented new audio feedback for typing to help people immediately catch mistakes.

And I’d love to show that you now.

Okay, so I’ve turned on typing feedback features already in Accessibility Speech Settings.

So I’ll just fire up Notes.

And what I’m going to do here is I’m going to type the word Welcome and I’m going to pause after typing the O.

And I’ve turned on Character Feedback where iOS will read the last character that I typed back to me after a pause so I can be sure that I didn’t enter a visually similar character like an E.


So, it may be difficult to hear a little bit, but iOS just read back an E to me.

So that wasn’t correct.


Great. Now, I’m going to keep typing, excuse me, and iOS is going to read back each word to me, because I’ve turned on Word Feedback.

So I can get immediate feedback as to whether the word I’ve entered is the one I wanted.

Welcome to our session.

Okay. So that’s a quick example of enhanced typing feedback in iOS X.

So, hopefully I’ve whetted your appetite as to the kinds of accommodations software can provide to make sure the entire experience is accessible to everyone.

So if you’re new to accessibility, you may be wondering about how you can put similar accommodations into your apps.

And if you’ve used the accessibilities APIs before, maybe it’s time for a quick refresher before we jump onto some new API.

So, how do we use the accessibility APIs to make sure our apps are accessible?

Well, the first step is to audit our app for accessibility.

Traditionally, the best way to do this was just to fire up an assistive app like VoiceOver or Switch Control and see what happened.

You’ll want to check that all your interface items are exposed.

That everything that is exposed has a good label so someone using VoiceOver can identify it.

You’ll want to check that someone using your app with VoiceOver can do everything that any other use can do.

And finally, you’re designing the accessible experience for your app.

So you’ll want to make sure that someone using your app with VoiceOver, for instance, has just as great and smooth an experience as anyone else.

So this year we’re also excited that there’s a brand new accessibility inspector that’s a lot of more powerful and can help you immediately catch mistakes.

If you want to learn more about this inspector I encourage you to check out the session Auditing your App for Accessibility on Wednesday to learn more about it.

For this session we’re going to focus on auditing with VoiceOver because it’s still the best way to get intimately familiar with accessibility of your app’s flows.

Okay, so let’s do it.

Let’s take a look at a live app and find its accessibility issues.

So, for this presentation I’m going to be using iOS, but the same basic flow applies to all of our platforms.

Okay, so the first thing I’m going to do is add VoiceOver to my accessibility triple-click shortcut by going into Accessibility Settings.

And all the way at the bottom, Accessibility Shortcut, turn on VoiceOver.

Okay, so let’s fire up our app now, DogRoutePro, a pro app for selecting routes to walk your dog.

And turn on VoiceOver by triple-clicking the Home button and Select again.

VoiceOver on.



So, there are two, excuse me, there are two ways to navigate your app when VoiceOver’s on.

You can take one finger and pan around on screen and VoiceOver will select and read what’s underneath your finger.

Or you can swipe with one finger, right or left, to move forward or back through the list of elements.

So let’s see how accessible these table cells are.

Avenue Loop.

0.8 miles.

So, immediately I noticed that I know that if you activate this cell, we can go somewhere on our app.

But nothing conveys that to a VoiceOver user.

Let’s keep going.

[Inaudible] button.

So this button has a label that’s derived from the name of the image I used to initialize it.

That’s the framework’s falling back on the only information I gave it.

So we’ll have to give it a better label.

All right.

So let’s activate this cell.

To activate an item with VoiceOver, when the item is selected you’ll want to double-tap onscreen with one finger.

Avenue Loop.

0 Avenue Loop.

Routes. Back button.

Okay, let’s go through this UI.

Avenue Loop.

Avenue Loop ratings.

Heading. Distractions.

Smells. Greenery.


So for this ratings graph, the graph values are totally inaccessible to someone using voiceover.

Let’s keep going.

Avenue Loop route.

Heading. Broadway and Ridgeway.

Hazard. Boys’ Choir on Ridgeway.

41st and Broadway.

So, because I gave these annotations good titles, the frameworks were able to use that as the accessibility label for the map annotations.

So that’s good.

Let’s move on to this Steps tab.

Steps. Text selected.

Step 41st.

Broadway and Ridgeway.

Turn right at Broadway and Ridgeway.

Boys’ Choir on Ridgeway.

Boys’ Choir between Gilbert and Montgomery on Ridgeway.

Continue along Ridgeway.

Be careful of cars and children.

So, VoiceOver was able to read all the text in these table view cells.

But you’ll notice that these cells that represent hazards on the route are not differentiated at all for someone using VoiceOver even though a sighted user can see that there are hazards from the red text and distinctive icon.

Okay, let’s jump out to the slides and discuss how we can fix these issues.

So, what did we learn about our app?

First, those route list cells.

The Favorite button has that odd label that’s derived from the name of the image we’re using.

In addition, it isn’t clear that the table cell itself can be activated to go somewhere.

Now, for the ratings graph, those graph values were totally inaccessible to VoiceOver.

And finally, in the route step list the cells representing waypoints that were hazards are not differentiated from the other steps on the route.

So how can we fix these problems?

Well, to understand how, we need to understand how VoiceOver is able to access information from our interface and drive it.

VoiceOver interacts with our app through the UIAccessibility protocol.

So let’s take, as an example, that Favorite button in the app we just saw.

Assistive apps like VoiceOver need to ask your app’s user interface items questions.

So for instance, when Voiceover is on and someone touches that button, VoiceOver asks the button, “Hey, what kind of thing are you?”

And the button says, “Well, I’m a button.”

VoiceOver then asks, “Who are you?

What’s your name?”

That button should respond with something like “Favorite.”

Finally VoiceOver asks, “Where are you on screen?”

And the button replies with “Its screen space frame.”

This is the information VoiceOver needs to announce, “Favorite, Button” and draw a cursor around the element.

So these messages from assistive technologies to your app take the form of method invocations.

The methods are all part of the UIAccessibility protocol.

By implementing the methods of this protocol you make your custom view hierarchies accessible.

So standard UI controls have accessibility baked in.

But depending on how you configure them, you may need to set or override certain properties.

So what properties?

Let’s take a look.

Now, there are a lot of methods on the UIAccessibility protocol that you can use for fine-grained control over how your interface items expose themselves to accessibility.

But for most work you need to only concern yourself with a few.

Let’s go through the basic properties one by one.

First, there’s isAccessibilityElement.

This property determines if an interface item is serviced by an assistive technology at all.

So for instance, if you have an image view that’s background decoration, you can leave this as False.

However, if it represents a photo that someone uploaded to your service, you’ll want to set this to True so someone using VoiceOver can discover the image, focus on it and learn about it.

So now your interface element is surfaced by VoiceOver.

You’ll want to give it a name so that users can identify it.

That’s what the accessibility label is for.

The label is a concise identifier of the element.

For instance Send Message or New Alarm.

So how does someone know that they can activate your element?

New Alarm doesn’t convey that the item is a button in the same way that its visual styling might.

That’s where the accessibility traits come in.

Accessibility traits declare to the assistive technology what your element is and how to interact with it.

So for instance, a button should have the trait UIAccessibilityTraitButton.

An adjustable control like a slider would have the trait UIAccessibilityTraitAdjustable.

The traits are a bit masked, so an element could have more than one.

For instance, a selected button should have both UIAccessibilityTraitButton and UIAccessibiltyTraitSelected.

The Button trait is what makes VoiceOver speak “Button” so someone knows they can activate your element.

Next there’s the accessibility frame.

This determines where your element is onscreen and is used both for hit testing and for drawing a cursor around the element.

Now, for UI views you usually do not have to set this explicitly because it’s computed for you based on where the view is in the view hierarchy.

But you can modify it if needed.

Just remember that it is in screen coordinates.

And finally, there’s the accessibility value.

This is useful for elements that have some sort of conceptual value associated with them.

So for instance, a slider returns its current value in percent through the accessibility value.

An on-off switch returns on or off.

And if you had some sort of custom control that controlled the magnification level of an instrument, you’d want to convey that magnification level through the accessibility value.

Okay, so what do you do if you do custom drawing where each logical piece of your interface doesn’t map directly to a UI view?

When you need to do that, use UIAccessibilityElement.

UIAccessibilityElement objects represent logical accessible regions onscreen.

And they interact with the UIAccessibility protocol just like your views do.

You can use them, for instance, to expose each individual piece of a control that’s built as a single UI view.

So to do so, make the element whose pieces you want to expose into an accessibility container by setting its accessibility elements property to an array of UIAccessibilityElement objects that represent each individual piece of the control.

So, UIAccessibilityElement is a natural choice to expose that graph we saw earlier where I was doing some custom layers to present the graph bars.

But if you’re a very astute listener you may have noticed a slight snag.

UIAccessibilityElement objects aren’t views, so we need to set their accessibility frame manually.

However, those graph bars were inside of a scroll view, so their frames and screen coordinates change.

Now, to rectify this we could subclass, or we could set accessibility frame after each scroll.

Or, in iOS X we can set accessibility frame in container space.

When you set this property to a container-relative frame, UIAccessibilityElement will automatically follow its container’s position onscreen.

So those are the most basic methods in the UIAccessibility protocol along with UIAccessibilityElement.

And you’ll get most of the way there with just those.

So what are the takeaways?

First, know that the methods in UIAccessibility protocol are how you expose your interface items to accessibility.

Through the methods of this protocol your app answers questions about what its interface items are and what they can do.

Now, for many classes support is baked in, so there’s nothing for you to do.

But you may need to set or override properties to get the behavior you need.

Finally, if you have pieces of your interface that don’t map directly to views, use UIAccessibilityElement.

So, let’s go in and use what we just learned to make our app accessible.

The first thing we’re going to do is we’re going to fix the fact that that table view cell didn’t convey that it was able to be activated through VoiceOver.

So, the way we’re going to do that is, in its AwakeFromNib, all we’re going to do is “Or” in the trait UIAccessibilityTraitButton.

Done. All right, now let’s fix the label for that Favorite button.

What we’re going to do here is when we set the route for this cell we’re going to grab the Favorite button and set its accessibility label property to say Favorite and then the name of the route.

I’m putting the name of the route in there so it’s unambiguous which route I’m going to Favorite if I activate that button.

All right, let’s move on to that graph we saw.

So, like I said, I’m doing some drawing here with layers.

So we’re going to use UIAccessibilityElement.

Now, what I want to do here is first I’m going to add some ivars to keep track of the UIAccessibilityElement objects.

So, just four ivars, one for each bar of the graph that are UAAccessibiliytElements.

Next I’ll add a short little helper function to help me translate from a numeric rating into a user-friendly string.

So, rated X of 5.

And then, for each of these didSet callbacks for these rating properties I’m going to set the accessibility value of the appropriate accessibility element to a friendly string that describes the rating.

So, for smells oops.

Put distractions first.

Smells. Greenery.

And friends.

So again, just grabbing the correct element, setting its accessibility value to be the value string for the rating.

Okay, now we need to actually set the ivars to be valid accessibility elements.

So in AwakeFromNib here, for those four ivars I’m just going to set it equal to a UIAccessibilityElement with our self as the accessibility container.

Now, we’re going to set the labels for these elements to just be the text from the label that’s already there, the UI label, I should say, that’s already there.

And then finally, we’ll set the accessibility properties of our self, because we want to be an accessibility container, to just be those four elements.

So now we have valid accessibility element objects with a valid label, or a good label, and a good accessibility value.

Now we just need to set their frame.

So what we’re going to do is when we’re laying out the graph bars, we’ll just grab the appropriate accessibility element and set its accessibility frame in container space.

Okay. Then the last thing we needed to fix is the label of the cells in the Route List view.

So, I’ll go to the Route Step cell.

And when we set the appropriate waypoint that that cell represents, what we’re going to do is add some code to manually set the accessibility label to be the waypoint’s name and then the waypoint’s description.

And then if it’s a hazard we’ll add “Hazard.”

And then the hazard description.

Okay, so before we build and run this, let’s go back to the slides and think about whether there’s anything that a sighted user can do easily that a VoiceOver user still will have trouble with.

All right.

So again, first, that route map.

VoiceOver users can discover the steps on the map, however, the route order is lost because VoiceOver is reading those elements in a spatial, top-down, left to right order.

In addition, someone who’s sighted can easily see the hazards on that graph by the distinctive icons.

But someone using VoiceOver will have to navigate through all of the waypoints on the graph to discover all the hazards.

Now, for the route step list, there’s a similar problem in that it’s easily skimmable for a sighted user who can scroll through quickly looking through their cells with the distinctive red text and distinctive label.

But for a VoiceOver user, it’s not as skimmable.

They have to go through each individual cell.

So how can we fix these issues?

We’re going to use the rotor.

The rotor is a VoiceOver feature that lets someone navigate across an interface by searching for elements of a given type.

So one of the built-in rotors, for instance, is the Headings rotor, which allows someone to navigate an interface by jumping between the headings.

To use the rotor you take two fingers and twist onscreen as though you’re manipulating a physical dial.

Do that to select the rotor setting to use, and then swipe up or down with one finger to search previous or next with that rotor.

So this year we’re introducing the ability for you to add your own custom search rotors.

We hope you’ll take advantage of this to add a totally new navigational power to your apps when people are using them with VoiceOver.

On iOS, to add your custom rotors, set the Accessibility Custom Rotors property on a super view that contains the elements through which you wish to search, or that super view’s view controller.

You’ll want to set this to an array of view accessibility custom rotor objects, which are initialized with a name, and also an item search block that’s called each time someone swipes up or down to search for the previous or next match to for that rotor.

All right.

Let’s switch back over to the demo machine and see this new API in action.

Okay. So, let’s first add a Hazards rotor to the Route Step View controller so someone can easily navigate to the appropriate table cells that represent hazards.

So, I’m going to open up the Route Steps View controller.

And I’m going to set this property inside of AwakeFromNib.

So basic skeleton here.

I’m going to make a Hazards rotor an accessibility custom rotor object with the name Hazards and a callback.

And I’m going to set the accessibility custom rotor’s property to be just that rotor.

And inside of the callback here, the search block, I’m just going to get our reference to our data model here, an array of waypoints, and determine whether we’re going forwards or backwards by inspecting the predicate that we’re passed.

Next, we’re going to find where we need to start our search.

So, by default, if there is no selection in the table view right now, we’re going to start either before the first item or after the last item, depending on whether we’re going forwards or backwards.

So we go into the list of cells.

Otherwise, if we have a current item, we’re going to get it as a cell.

And then start at the appropriate row that represents that item in our data model.

Okay. Then we’re going to search through our data model with this loop here.

And we’re going to search until we find a match.

And a match is just a waypoint that is a hazard.

So if we find a result, we’re going to get an index path for that result, scroll to that row in the table view, grab the cell that we potentially just scrolled onscreen and return a UIAccessibility custom rotor item result with the target element the cell.

Now, it also supports a target range property in the initializer.

If we conform to UI text input, we could use this to rotor through different pieces of text.

However, we’re not doing that, so we’re just going to leave this as nil.

And if our While Loop terminates without returning anything, we’ll return nil to say we weren’t able to find a result.

Let’s do a similar thing in the route map cell.

Sorry, we have this helper here, which already, which searches our annotation views starting from one annotation view going forwards or backwards with a given predicate that corresponds to whether we should return that annotation view based on what data model item it represents.

So we’re going to use this to do a similar thing.

We’re going to override awakeFromNib.

We’re going to make a short closure that’s going to help us make multiple rotors, because we’re basically all we’re changing for the various rotors is what items we return.

And then we’re going to use this when setting our accessibility custom rotors property.

We’re going to have a Route Steps rotor that just returns every waypoint.

And a Hazards rotor that returns just the hazards.

Okay, so in this fact array, what are we going to do?

Well, we need to create a UIAccessibility custom rotor object with the appropriate name.

We’re going to use our Search Annotation Views helper.

Pass it the current element.

Whether we’re going forward or backward.

And what the predicate was.

And again, if we were able to find a result, we’re just going to wrap it up in a customer rotor item result and return it.

Otherwise we’ll return nil, saying we weren’t able to find a previous or next match to the rotor.

All right.

Let’s build and run this.

Avenue There we go.


All right.

So let’s look at whether our changes took.

Avenue Loop.

0.8 miles.


Okay. So VoiceOver spoke “Button.”

That’s great.

Someone can know that they can activate this item now.

Let’s take a look at this Favorite button.

Favorite, Avenue Loop.




Favorite Avenue Loop.

So the selected trait was taken care of for us by the frameworks.

So I’d like to activate this cell.

Avenue Loop.

Avenue Loop distractions.

Rated 3 of 5.

Smells. Rated 2 of 5.

Greenery. Rated 5 of 5.

Friends. Rated 4 of 5.


So our graph bars are now accessible.

Avenue Loop route.

Broadway and Ridgeway.

Okay. Now let’s try and use our new rotors.


Words. Characters.

Hazards. Route steps.

Hazard. Hazard.

Ridgeway and Piedmont.

Piedmont and 41st.

41st and Broadway.

Great. So our Route Steps rotor works.

Use the rotor to access Excuse me.


Hazard. Ridgeway and Piedmont.

Hazard. Boys’ Choir on Ridgeway.

And the Hazards rotor lets us jump right to and through the list of all the hazards there.

So, let’s check out the Steps tab again.

Steps. Selected.

Steps. 41st and Broadway.

Start at That was me.


Boys’ Choir on Ridgeway.

Boys’ Choir between Gilbert and Montgomery on Ridgeway.

Continue along Ridgeway.

Hazard. Be care Oh, sorry.

The switch was cut off there.

So you heard, though, that it said “Hazards.”

So our modification to the accessibility label took.

It’s now conveyed that these cells do represent hazards.

And in addition, we were able to jump directly to them using the Hazards rotor.

All right.

Let’s jump back to the slides.

So, a quick word on tvOS.

tvOS apps are built with UIKit, so everything we’ve been talking about earlier applies directly to them as well.

But there are a few considerations you need to keep in mind when building your accessible TV apps that stem from the fact that tvOS has a focus-driven interface.

So a common pattern on tvOS is to use headers to group content onscreen and to separate it visually from the other content.

You can give a similar experience to someone using your app with VoiceOver through the use of the Accessibility Header Elements API.

Set this property on your Accessible Views, their super views or on applicable view controller to be the headers that are associated with that content.

Then when someone navigates to your items, VoiceOver will read the associated headers in a distinctive pitch to give someone using your app a sense of place in your content.

So I recorded a short video here of a art gallery app.

And when I play it, I’m going to move focus down into the collection view of available works at the bottom.

You’re going to hear VoiceOver say “Available Works” in a distinctive pitch.

And that’s because I set that label to be the Accessibility Header element of the Collection view.

Now, you’ll also hear something else.

When I pause, VoiceOver will start reading through all of the non-focusable accessibility elements onscreen.

So let’s hear that now.

Available works.

Grain. Button.

Title. Grain.

Author. Vivian Li.


Close up of a strand of grain.

It glistens with morning dew.

So, the reason I showed you that secondary Read All behavior is to hammer home that all of the information your app provides needs to be exposed through an accessibility element, even if it’s not natively focusable by the tvOS focus engine.

When you do that, when you pause navigating with VoiceOver, VoiceOver will then read all of the non-focusable content onscreen so that information will be conveyed to someone using the app with VoiceOver.

Okay. Let’s wrap up.

So, when you’re out there implementing your apps with an eye to accessibility, keep in mind what you’ve learned here.

First, accessibility is about everyone.

It’s about making the great experiences your app provides available to as many people as possible.

You’ll want to design with accessibility in mind from the start.

Is anything difficult to use in your interface for someone with a motor disability?

Is anything too low contrast?

Excuse me.

UIKit helps your apps become accessible through your adoption of the accessibility APIs.

And finally, accessible apps are what make our platforms great.

So thanks so much for being here and learning about how to do that.

So for more information you can check out this session online.

It’s Session Number 202.

And there are some related sessions this week that you should check out.

At 10:00 a.m. in this very room there’s a session on Inclusive App Design.

So make sure you stick around.

And on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m.

in Nob Hill there’s the session Auditing your Apps for Accessibility, which again is where you can learn more about that new accessibility inspector, which I definitely recommend you check out.

So that’s all I have for today.

Thanks so much and have a great conference.

[ Applause ]

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