Developer notes

  • A button is a control that executes an action or navigates within the app. Note: Links only navigate the user to a browser.
  • Even if the control visibly looks like a link, code as a button to cue the screen reader the action will keep them within the app
  • When naming a button, do not add “button” to the programmatic name (label). “Button” will be announced as the role. Avoid duplication: “Submit button, button”
  • use a native control when at all possible vs a custom element, as it will automatically and correctly announce the role without additional development effort
  • Name, Role, State must be announced when focus is on the control. Announcing the label before the input field does not meet this requirement.
  • Placeholder text is NOT the programmatic name (unless the placeholder for a field moves up as a floating label)

Name

  • Name describes the purpose of the control
  • Programmatic name matches the visible text label (if any)

  • iOS Tips
    • Set a label in Interface Builder in the Identity Inspector
    • Group visible text label and the control in the same view container: accessibilityFrameInContainerSpace
    • setTitle( ) method
    • If no visible label, use accessibilityLabel on control
    • Hint is used sparingly and if the results of interacting with it are not obvious from the control’s label
    • To hide labels from VoiceOver announcements, uncheck the Accessibility Enabled checkbox in the Identity Inspector
    • If hiding visible label from screen reader, use accessibilityLabel on control
    • SWIFTUI: Controls can take a Text view (visible label) as part of their view builder, connecting the visible label or meaning to the control.
  • Android Tips
    • android:text XML attribute
    • Optional: use contentDescription for a more descriptive name, depending on type of view and for elements (icons) without a visible label
    • contentDescription overrides android:text
    • Use labelFor attribute to associate the visible label with the control

Role

  • When not using native controls (custom controls), roles will need to be manually coded.

  • iOS
    • Standard UIButton
  • Android
    • Standard button or ImageButton

Groupings

  • Group visible label with button (if applicable) to provide a programmatic name for the button
  • Group label with data to ensure reading order is logical. (Not label, label, data, data)

  • iOS
    • accessibilityFrame
    • accessibilityFrameInContainerSpace
    • Create a wrapper as an accessible element
    • Define action upon double-tap
    • shouldGroupAccessibilityElement attribute: For a precise order if the native order should be disrupted.
    • GroupView
    • shouldGroupAccessibilityChildren attribute indicates whether VoiceOver must group its children views. This allows making unique vocalizations or define a particular reading order for a part of the page
    • SWIFTUI: .accessibilityElement(children) with argument of .combine
    • SWIFTUI: .ignore property, then add accessibility attributes and traits to stack view
  • Android
    • ViewGroup
    • Set the container object’s android:screenReaderFocusable attribute to true, and each inner object’s android:focusable attribute to false. In doing so, accessibility services can present the inner elements’ contentDescription or names, one after the other, in a single announcement.
    • JETPACK COMPOSE: Composables can be merged together using the semantics modifier with its mergeDescendants property

State

  • iOS
    • Active: isEnabled property
    • Disabled: UIAccessibilityTraitNotEnabled. Announcement: “dimmed”
    • AccessibilityTrait: selected
    • SWIFTUI: .accessibility(addTraits: [.isSelected])
  • Android
    • Active: android:enabled=true
    • Disabled: android:enabled=false. Announcement: disabled

Focus

  • Only manage focus when needed. Primarily, let the device manage default focus
  • Consider how focus should be managed between child elements and their parent views
  • External keyboard tab order often follows the screen reader focus, but sometimes needs focus management
  • Initial focus on a screen should land in a logical place (back button, screen title, first text field, first heading)
  • When a bottom navigation bar element is activated, the next screen’s initial focus should move to the top of the screen, not stay in the bottom nav bar.
  • When a menu, picker or modal is closed, the focus should return to the triggering element.

  • iOS
    • accessibilityElementIsFocused
    • isAccessibilityElement makes the element visible or not to the Accessibility API
    • accessibilityElementsHidden indicates that the children elements of the target element are visible or not to the Accessibility API
    • accessibilityViewIsModal contains the screen reader focus inside the Modal
    • To move screen reader focus to newly revealed content: UIAccessibilityLayoutChangedNotification
    • To NOT move focus, but dynamically announce new content: UIAccessibilityAnnouncementNotification
    • UIAccessibilityContainer protocol: Have a table of elements that defines the reading order of the elements.
  • Android
    • importantForAccessibility makes the element visible to the Accessibility API
    • android:focusable
    • android=clickable
    • Implement an onClick( ) event handler for keyboard, as well as onTouch( )
    • nextFocusDown
    • nextFocusUp
    • nextFocusRight
    • nextFocusLeft
    • accessibilityTraversalBefore (or after)
    • To move screen reader focus to newly revealed content: Type_View_Focused
    • To NOT move focus, but dynamically announce new content: accessibilityLiveRegion(set to polite or assertive)
    • To hide controls: importantForAccessibility=false
    • For a ViewGroup, set screenReaderFocusable=true and each inner object’s attribute to keyboard focus (focusable=false)