ADA Compliency

Andrew at MidWest Coast Media andrew at
Mon Jun 1 19:23:28 EDT 2020

I’m glad this has been brought up as I have done some internal investigation myself, with mixed results. A higher education institute I work for pushes us hard for a11y forward workflows (to the point where we’re supposed to include a text description of any MEMEs we post in the official Slack channel). This made me aware of some common issues and tools for adaptive technology.

As Curry mentioned (bravo for the excellent thread), there are LOTS of impairments to consider with absolutely zero practical way of accommodating them all. For the sake of web/mobile most usability requirements would tend to land on touch/motor (adaptive input), vision (text size, screen colors, text to speech), and hearing (transcripts and audio descriptions). iOS has some great accessibility features built-in that (I’ve been told by our “experts”) are the most common tools for the platform. 

So I gave them a go with a simple Livecode stack consisting of:
- native text field with content
- Livecode text field with content
- native button
- 3 Livecode text fields next to each other

A basic test that I tried was using the VoiceOver option. This is basically text to speech at the OS level. Everything in my Livecode app was recognized as “possible text” by the OS, including the system clock in the corner, but not even the native text fields were “recognized" as text. This worked ok if the text had a wide line length across the whole screen, but fell apart if fields with word wrap were placed next to each other (columns were ignored and reads across the entire screen, then goes “down a line” and reads across the screen, etc.). None of the text options take into account the Display & Text Size system settings.

—Andrew Bell
>> Re: ADA Compliency (Curry Kenworthy)
>> From: Curry Kenworthy <curry at>
>> Subject: Re: ADA Compliency
>> Rick:
>>> I have a couple of questions for you.
>> Thanks Rick! I do appreciate the concern. But in my post, your questions 
>> were already either answered or otherwise addressed before you asked. I 
>> anticipated them; I know what makes people tick! So I'll "re-answer" 
>> partly by quoting myself.
>> But when certain memes are burned so deep into community psyche that 
>> answers bounce right off, I feel like we're heading back toward the old 
>> failed group think. The same old patronizing ideas and faulty 
>> assumptions, while actually ignoring both the main point and the details 
>> of what I posted about UI.
>> Somehow we have to SHOUT louder than those old memes to get through!
>>> Is a trackpad or a trackball any better of an experience for you?
>> Heck no! Emphatically no. Much, much worse. Much more difficult. That's 
>> why I emphasized my mouse use already, to avoid precisely this type of 
>> inevitable question. Just be aware that the old oh handicap people 
>> should use blah blah mindset - the memes are sometimes true, but more 
>> often not.
>> Mouse = good. For handicap man too!
>> Trashing a UI to replace scientific arrangement with lickable = bad.
>> I said: "I'm very comfortable using the mouse if set up correctly. I 
>> switched to Windows for my main work, and that helped save energy and 
>> improve accuracy."
>> Thus, problem mostly solved on my end, at least when using apps and web 
>> sites with non-crappy UI. Pretty easy solution. Handicap man happy.
>> But problem not solved on Apple's end. Handicap man sad for Apple!
>> It really was a lousy move, destroying a once superior interface.
>>> Have you tried using the mac OS voice commands or controls?
>> Strike two! Think carefully about the implications of what I said: "I 
>> can only say a few words without getting out of breath."
>> For people with good breathing, this is a very good thing for typing or 
>> for no-hands computer use. But imagining it would be more efficient than 
>> mouse for the ability levels I described - and imagining I'm suffering 
>> here because I just haven't tried trackpad or voice recognition (I've 
>> built Mac apps with voice recognition) - no way. Totally unrealistic!
>> Now, a mental interface might be good, that's another story. Some 
>> interest there, for the future. But I'm not anywhere near ready for that 
>> yet. Privacy concerns etc, plus very importantly - use it or lose it. 
>> Without that exercise, the fingers are toast, and I need those guys. 
>> Maybe when I'm 80. Maybe I'll design it myself now and use it then.
>>> Apple has the money and resources to do it.
>> No, probably they don't. They can't. They don't have the brains (or the 
>> paradigm) to allow them to do it, not anymore. Not for any amount of 
>> money; mental assets are the most crucial. It's sad. I was a huge fan.
>> But enough about Apple - as I said, this is a pretty-much universal 
>> problem. Only using them as a small example of the problems:
>> - Binary thinking about physical abilities
>> - Trotting out the same faulty memes and assumptions
>> - Placing form above function, subjective over objective
>> - Ignoring handicapped voices that don't fit the mold
>> - Why being "compliant" will still fail many users
>> Ignoring the reality that abilities vary - and not even just a range 
>> along one continuum, but a real mixture of strengths and weaknesses in 
>> many mental and physical areas. I actually feel like a superman in some 
>> areas. I bring heavy strengths to the table, as my clients know.
>> Here's one more attempt to break through the group think. Really THINK 
>> HARD about this, and don't let it automatically bounce off, try to allow 
>> it into your mind. You may have to adjust some old assumptions, and if 
>> so that's good:
>> In certain ways, I might use a mouse more skillfully than you. It's 
>> possible; I'm pretty good, and I'm one heck of an adept user. At 
>> computer 16+ hours a day for both work and rest; I rely on it a LOT for 
>> all things, since I can't go out and about. In other ways I'm definitely 
>> worse than you, guaranteed. Some misclicks and doubles. Neurology.
>> But it's NOT so simple - and in fact so backwards - as oh, he's 
>> handicapped, he shouldn't use a mouse. (Even though he just said he does 
>> it well; he's handicapped, so we'll just ignore most of what he says.)
>> No, no, no, NO! Quite the opposite. This is missing the point, tossing 
>> most of the actual content, and adopting assumptions that are exactly 
>> opposite of the real situation. I MUST have a good ergonomic full-sized 
>> mouse or I can't use the computer at all. I have several backup mice in 
>> storage for instant swap. With a track pad I'm exhausted in a few 
>> minutes. Of course I've tried it! That is the reality.
>> If these popular but faulty memes are so appealing that actual reality 
>> must be discarded to uphold them, that's sad too. Don't let reality 
>> bounce off. If we are open to improving our knowledge and perceptions, 
>> life can improve so much, and progress can happen much faster!
>> BTW, this mouse versus window UI issue dates way back, to the time of OS 
>> X introduction. And my muscle and neurology impairments date back, 
>> likewise. It has been the case for the majority of my many years on this 
>> list (think carefully how long that has been) and during that time I've 
>> produced more than the average person! I've done pretty well with my mouse.
>> That problem was mostly solved long ago - to a reasonable extent. I 
>> probably couldn't send these message, much less be one of the top coders 
>> in this community, otherwise. Right? Think about it! Like I say, these 
>> popular memes and assumptions are so strong that they seen to just 
>> short-circuit the thinking process at time. But that's OK!
>> Nowadays the bigger problem is overall energy being sapped by the 
>> neurology, and I'm working on some next-gen dev solutions for that. 
>> It'll help people with normal physical ability too; good things are 
>> coming but it takes some time.
>> People instinctively tend to assign less weight to info from handicapped 
>> voices, and ignore whatever bucks the popular trend. That's how society 
>> works. But that's OK; I'm very much in the business of bucking trends 
>> and disproving faulty assumptions, and over time I'm winning. It's worth 
>> it to get new thoughts and improvements out there.
>> As always, I'm just popping up here to share some accurate and 
>> potentially valuable ($$$) info from one who really knows and has the 
>> FIRST-HAND experience plus the tech expertise, to benefit open minds and 
>> further good projects. Physical abilities are not all-or-nothing! And UI 
>> matters!
>> I hope it helps some people. Whether it's OS or app, big corporation or 
>> lone coder, good solid logical UI is always worthwhile, and bad UI is 
>> like a disease that keeps on giving. Just like bad code - avoid both 
>> like the plague they are. Your good code and UI can make a much bigger 
>> difference than you think. Thanks again....
>> Best wishes,
>> Curry Kenworthy
>> Custom Software Development
>> "Better Methods, Better Results"
>> LiveCode Training and Consulting

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