Apple conducts several accessibility lectures at WWDC for developers who need to learn the new accessibility features coming up this year, and also for those developers who are not aware of how important accessibility is for the nearly one billion users who have some type of disability.
In this session, “What’s new in Accessibility”, Apple covered several topics.
Text Detection and Photo Description
Apple announced that VoiceOver will now be able to automatically detect text that is contained in an image and read it back to the user. Also, if an image has not been given a description by the person posting the image, the VoiceOver user can access Apple’s image description process by opening the image and performing a three finger single tap on the image. A description like, two people one smiling face, will be read back to the user.
This appears to be only for the Mac. An accessibility keyboard can be configured to perform certain actions that the user repeats often. This is an on-screen keyboard that eliminates the need to perform multiple key strokes for those who have difficulty using a physical keyboard.
Type to Siri
Not everyone can vocalize commands to Siri. Type to Siri allows the user to type their queries rather than speaking them. This feature is also useful in noisy environments, and for those who don’t want to have everyone around them hear what they are asking
Siri to do.
Smart Invert Colors
This feature inverts the color of specific content without inverting the color of everything on the screen. For example; when opening the Photo app, the background will change from white too black, but the color of the photo will not change. Also, wall paper and icon colors will not be inverted.
Apple did not go into this in great detail, but it is a feature that allows the user to easily change the size of the text. App developers will need to take advantage of Dynamic Text features so that the user can change the text size within their apps.
Finally, the rest of the session consisted of telling developers how to use the Accessibility Inspector to conduct an accessibility audit of their application. Apple also demonstrated how VoiceOver reads elements on the screen, and what happens to a VoiceOver user when an app isn’t coded correctly.