Accessibility at the Ubuntu Developer Summit

Last week was the Ubuntu Developer Summit in Budapest, this marks the start of the development cycle for the Oneiric Ocelot release of Ubuntu which will be out in October. This is where the strategic discussions take place to decide what work items can be achieved in the next 6 months, and how the work in the next 12 months leads up to the next long term support release. There were four sessions specifically on accessibility, but it was also raised as a consideration in a number of discussions of other subject matters, including a segment of the keynote (audio here, starting around 21:30)

“We made major steps on Accessibility in Unity, we knew we couldn’t move to an entirely Unity based environment until we had accessibility absolutely sorted. Accessibility is one of our core values as a project and so I want to thank Luke and several other people who made substantial contributions to that we have a lot more work to do and that work will get finished in this coming cycle, so Luke and the other folk who led that, thank you very much” – Mark Shuttleworth

On the Wednesday evening about 30 people went on the outing to the Invisible Exhibition, you can read about it on Lyz’s writeup of day 3

Group photo of the people who went to the Invisible Exhibition

All the session notes were made using the collaborative etherpad editor integrated into the summit schedule website, but we are including them below as plain text for ease of reading with Orca, along with link to an audio recording of the session below each heading.

Discussion of the goals of the accessibility team in the Oneiric cycle

Development topics
java-access-bridge is a bit broken, there is a new upstream alternative, but not in Debian yet
Debian bug 537779 in wnpp “RFP: java-atk-wrapper — An ATK implementation for Java using JNI” [Wishlist,Open]
On Screen Keyboards
Determine exactly which keyboard will be used
Onboard themeing is improving, there should be awesome themes for Ubuntu
Evaluate and support Gnome Caribou development – when might this be a viable alternative to consider?
Need an option that can work for switch users as well
what needs doing if classic goes away for people on 2d hardware
    compiz, won’t need metacity
    classic gnome panel is likely going to be gone from ubuntu image
What to recommend if gnome classic is gone:
    Users with screenreaders won’t want to install proprietary drivers just to use the 3d
    Recommend to stay with 11.04 or below until we know solutions are ready and solid.
       OR Ask about hardware, IF they have a chipset with open driver, will need monitor connected and should be fine.
Vinux: may need to be a base for 11.10
Classic gnome will still be available, just not shipped on the image
how do people get to 3d if 2d orca readability doesn’t work to get the drivers installed?
Ubuntu Specific Accessibility Testing Distro/CD
jhernandez of Gnome A11y has offered to put together an Ubuntu specific accessibility testing distro/CD (similar to )
Do we want it and would we be able to get others to use it?
    Per Luke: That may be a use of Vinux
There is a good possibility that we’ll be using LightDM instead of GDM in Oneiric
    Luke promises that LightDM will be accessible if it is chosen as a replacement. (pie on the face)
Dasher development – once changes go through, build it and see how it goes
Action Items:
[] Create document that explains the infrastructure and how it all fits together: TODO
[] Contact Compiz Enhanced zoom person to check on progress: TODO
[] Set up Accessibility Testing / Bug filing classes in ubuntu-classroom: TODO
Luke will be willing to mentor potential developers.
    Encourage Vinux contributors to come help
Simon (Listens)

Qt & KDE accessibility features integration

Audio recording of the Qt & KDE accessibility session

Qt accessibility

Accessibility improvements can be backported to Qt 4.8
Riddell has packaged qt-at-spi2
    – Put it in the archive right away (Talk to Debian)
Who wants to maintain Qt-at-spi2 in Debian?
    – Debian Qt/KDE?
        – Action item: Ask them if they’d like to maintain it
    – Debian accessibility?
        – Luke is a member of pkg-accessibility
        – Will be willing to maintain if Debian Qt/KDE won’t
Unity 2D:
    – Uses QML
    – Needs spi2 bridge, extended Qt Quick w/ translation patches, ask fregl (KDE dev) for the patches
Kubuntu action items:
    – Look in to touchegg to see if it is flexible enough for being useful in accessibility
    – Get casper working
    – Get KAccessible on the CD/installed by default
    – Enable KAccessible with the environment variable ( QT_ACCESSIBILITY=1 )
    – Add a keyboard shortcut to launch KAccessible
    – Talk with KDE upstream about using accessibility improvements for automated testing purposes.
Relevant links:

Accessibility review of Ubiquity

Audio recording of the Ubiquity accessibility review session

Majority of installer is accessible except for the “Prepare” screen (where asked about updates/power/etc)
  – timezone window as well — doesn’t read popout for different cities with same/similar names if typed
 – better “accessible name” settings would be nice too, rather than reading the variable names (maco & Cheri have started on this)
Changing way of accessing accessibility profiles – run by design for a way to indicate that mouse gestures are available for pointer users
How do we let the user know that we are at the point to enter the shortcut?
    Play drum sound at “try/install” screen
    How to get user to select their language
Slideshow is designed for visual users, may not be strictly appropriate for screen reader users
    Longer slide delay (or make sensitive to screenreader progress)
Set up Braille display from try/install screen too
Luke to look into getting to keyboard indicator
KDE frontend needs to pass on some info to the installed system to enable KAccessible by default

Desktop Unity a11y

Audio recording of the Unity a11y session

Maco’s bet with DBO – where is the SRU, it was supposed to be 24 hours!
* Progress made during Natty. Still more to be done
* Rough edges in keyboard navigation
* Quicklistk can be navigated but not spoken by Orca
[UndiFineD] configurable Keyboard shortcuts for all items (buttons) ?
* Alt+Tab: Window switch not working
* Theeming:
    – High contrast supported
* Hard target: Unity must have accessibility in Oneiric
* Unity 2D
    – Need guidance for what is missing
    – Will use Qt 4.7
* Feedback on a11y came very late in Natty. How to leverage the accessibility community?
    – Manually testing is difficult for the community.
    – What skills are needed? (the personas not describe skills needed to test, only why it is needed)
* Virtual Box working with a11y
* Unit testing
    – Action: test plan with Luc
    – Accessibility for regression testing (QA team?)
* Switching to at-spi 2
* Session migration
* Upgrade from Gnome Panel to Unity?
OSK topic
 – what to do
 – when to target
Note for U-2D: reuse same property names and check whether signals are the same, ie if the test suite can be shared between 2D and 3D
[dbarth] interview Luke to extract a test plan
[tbd] fix the bug whereby the at-spi framework cannot identify the right objects in Unity
[tbd] make at-spi2 install and starts correctly (missing dependencies).
[tbd] develop a test suite based on luke’s extracted test plan
[didrocks] distro-patch QT
[rodrigo.moya] create a unit test that validates the nux / atk wrapper integration
[jaytaoko] ensure that nux passes the test above, or fix things when they break 😉
[luke] check whether scim & ibus are both required to support onboard
[dbarth] staff the dash a11y dev. task
at-spi2 integrated at this stage?
[jaytaoko] ensures that nux widgets can support what onboard requires
[john.lea] figure out how best to accomodate the onboard OSK with the dash overlay
[florian] add a11y properties into U-2D: panel & launcher first
[florian] add a11y properties into U-2D: dash next

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