[macvoiceover] Re: Logic and Apple

Well, Greg, I like suggestion #3.
However, I see certain problems already with this  approach.
On the surface, it sounds like a perfectly reasonable idea, however, as with all things that "force" compliance, what we'll wind up with is a whole bunch of developers who haven't a clue what these access tags are for, and programs will begin coming out with useless or blank labels, just to pass the compile time checks. There was (at one point) an attempt my microsoft to force frontpage pages to have alt tags on all images. This merely resulted in loads of webmasters simply creating images with blank alt tags which did absolutely nothing for screen reader users, and in some cases (such as with lynx) made the images completely invissible to browser users. As unfortunate as it is, I believe education is the *only* solution here. With that though, you'll never catch everyone, and there's still going to be software produced that doesn't work. Apple needs to make it harder to use custom elements, and perhaps to even replace custom elements with valid ones when they already match apple supplied items that are part of xtools. But then again, this too leads to other problems. I doubt it's ever likely we'll get a majority of developers to agree to this. I have no idea why, but some developers create custom elements as a matter of course regardless of what they're doing and why. This kind of behavior needs discouraged, and apple needs to make it easier for us to create labels and descriptions after the fact. A developer will be a lot more likely to do things correctly in the first place if they know that just anybody can go in and change their labels and descriptions if it's not done right. This would prevent a *lot* of the specialty and custom elements we're seeing these days.



On Jan 7, 2008, at 3:17 PM, Greg Kearney wrote:

Oh dear I could have seen this one coming. For years now I have called on Apple to establish an office of Accessibility Evangelist to deal with this kind of thing. You should contact the accessibility office at Apple accessibly@xxxxxxxxx send me a copy too so I can forward it on to my contacts as well.

Now as to why Logic will not work. The problem stems from the human interface that Logic and many of the other pro applications use. Simply put it is not an Apple Cocoa standard interface but rather a custom one. Custom interfaces are BAD. The programmer would have to make extensive modification to the source code of the program to get it to work with VoiceOver. Some things like menu and some buttons will read but the real critical parts of the program the controls over the playback head and so on have no VoiceOver controls and can not be read. It is possible to sometimes add VoiceOver labels to on screen controls after the fact using Apple's developer tools but I would bet that in this case not even that would work.

What to do. I have a few thought for Apple.

1. Create the office of Accessibility Evangelist staff it properly and when someone calls Apple with a VoiceOver or other accessibility question make sure it gets referred to this office which will train Apple staff and trainers on accessibility issue with all Apple products.

2. No more inaccessible software from Apple. Period. End of discussion. The next versions of EVERY Apple product will be accessible.

3. Change XCode so it will not compile a program that is not accessible. That is to say if you have a GUI you MUST have the accessibly tag and controls defined and activated otherwise he program just will not run.


Greg Kearney
535 S. Jackson St.
Casper, Wyoming 82601
307-224-4022
gkearney@xxxxxxxxx

On Jan 7, 2008, at 4:47 PM, Ms. Owens wrote:

I have to begin this email by saying that I’m so mad at Apple right now that I’m about to blow a gasket. I paid their recommended consultant $300 this morning, and I still don’t know if Logic can be made accessible. Some elements are, but important things like the track list cannot be seen as far as we can tell. The problem is that no one at Apple Care knows what Voice-Over is…at least not the six people ive spoken with over the past couple of weeks. If you aren’t going to have a dedicated accessibility specialist, then at least make sure your people know your accessibility features well. The pro software support guy kept thinking I was talking about doing a voice-over. I mean seriously? The consultant that I paid was very nice and as helpful as he could be, but he didn’t know too much about VO, either. Who should I contact next? I’m not through with this one. <smile> Somebody at Apple with some understanding of VO is going to talk to me before I give up. <smile> I mean, I’ve got frequent flyer miles…I’ll go out to California and sit with an engineer until he makes Logic work. It’s really so close to being accessible. I don’t think it’d take much.
Thanks for letting me rant.
GRRRRr.


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