A year ago, I published an article hear called, “2014 In Review And Predictions For 2015 in which I discussed the different articles I posted last year, the different numbers of hits different articles received, I made some entirely unscientific conclusions derived from the statistics and made a number of predictions about what might happen in the blindness technology world this year. This article will discuss the analytics we got from Piwik over the past 24 months (the period in which I’ve been using it to track my analytics) and try to form some conclusions from these numbers with two full years of data.
I will also provide something of a scorecard regarding the predictions I made last year and make some predictions for 2016.
I also contain more specific numbers on a variety of statistics that I either didn’t mention last year or, when I did include them in the 2014 review, I did so only in summary. As this a pretty widely read blog among blind people and accessibility professionals and literally nobody else, I’m hoping that by including these numbers, others may be able to draw conclusions of their own about the habits of my demographic that help inform their decisions in the future. I certainly didn’t include all of the numbers just because I enjoy copying and pasting information from my spreadsheets into my text editor as it was a boring and time consuming process. I sure hope someone out there enjoys reading about them and finds some value in the information.
Before we get into the numbers, I’d like to thank those of you who helped me write and publish this blog in 2015. I don’t want to list a bunch of names here as I’m certain I’ll forget someone and don’t want to hurt their feelings by leaving them out and because some of the people who helped with a number of the pieces did so under the assumption that I would maintain confidentiality and, as I’ve never broken such before, I’m certainly not going to start now in a gratitude section. You know who you are and I hope you all know just how highly grateful I am to you for spending the time to help make this the most widely read independent blog in the blindness and technology space. You people rock!
This is also the reason I refer to the authors of this blog as “we” instead of just me. While it’s my name on almost all of the articles, Virtually all of them contain contributions from those whom I consider my (albeit informal) editorial team.
I’d also like to thank my friends Jackie McBride and Amanda Rush for rebuilding my server, installing a much newer version of WordPress and helping me fix up the look and feel of the site. While I had hoped to make a number of changes to the site, I was not in any hurry to do so but I got hacked badly and literally had to burn down my server and Jackie and Amanda rebuilt it from the ground up for me. I can do a bunch of stuff in WordPress but, when it comes to the server side of things, I’m an absolute novice and greatly appreciate the help these two terrific women did to get this site back up and running securely.
The 2015 Top 10
The following is a table listing the ten articles published in 2015 that received the most hits, it does not include the home page or articles published prior to this year:
|1||Who Are The Champions?||NFB||826|
|2||NVDA Remote Access||Hacking||751|
|3||What Did I Just Agree To?||AT||714|
|4||Accessibility And NFBCS||NFB||695|
|5||The Greatest Living Blind Hacker||Hacking||649|
|6||Apple’s 2015 Accessibility Rebound||Apple||577|
|7||Anarchy, Leadership and NVDA||Hacking||573|
|8||The Foggy 3rd Party Screen Reader Issue||AT||557|
|9||CSUN 2015: Traditional Leadership||AT||534|
|10||Data Breaches Plague AT Industry||Hacking||485|
The Predictions Scorecard
Before I dive into the details of the statistics we gathered this year and compare them to 2014, I thought I would start with a “predictions scorecard” listing each of the ones I made a year ago and whether and to what extent they may or may not have come true. I’m not going to repeat the predictions in detail so, if you want to read what I had written specifically, please go to the 2014 article.
- I predicted that Amazon would Fork Android Accessibility and start doing their own thing. This prediction came true when the Amazon Fire tablets released in October 2015 contain a new screen reader called VoiceView. I got my hands on one of the entry level, $50 units and, while I haven’t spent nearly enough time with it to draw any specific conclusions, I can say that VoiceView, led by Peter Korn and coded by Mark Mulcahy demonstrates improvements in the user interaction model. Simultaneously,, as described in the article published here, “Testing Android Accessibility: The Programmer’s Perspective,” they are running into problems with the poorly functioning Android speech synthesis API and, although Amazon has forked all of Android, they have not made the low level changes required to permit the screen reader to rid itself of right angle and other pathological gestures. I remind my readers, though, this is a version 1.0 of VoiceView, the team led by Peter Korn has had roughly a single year to do the work and, compared to TalkBack, it already shows some solid improvements. Point 1 for my predictive powers.
- I predicted that Google’s Accessibility would Improve Dramatically. GoogleDocs and Chrome (on Windows at least) have improved greatly and there’s a lot of chatter around the accessibility rumor mill that Google has started funding NVDA with large scale financial contributions. At the same time, in 2015, Google released an entirely new and entirely inaccessible framework and they deprecated the mostly accessible Eclipse IDE and replaced it with an entirely inaccessible one. Android accessibility improved slightly which should also be seen as a good, albeit half assed step forward. Thus, as Google had a very mixed year regarding accessibility, I’ll give my predictive powers a half point for this one, I’m up to 1.5 out of 2 possible points.
- I predicted that NVDA and VoiceOver would See Continued Marketshare Growth. Sadly, I can not give myself a point for getting it right nor can I say that this prediction was wrong, we simply do not know. For screen reader market information, like many others, I rely on the annual WebAIM survey and, when they published their latest results, I wrote and posted this blog article about their numbers. In the 2015 WebAIM results, we observed the Window-Eyes and ZoomText shot up in marketshare over the previous survey, that NVDA and VoiceOver remained more or less flat and that JAWS saw a dramatic drop in its share. What I did not know when I published that article was that AISquared, publishers of both Window-Eyes and ZoomText, ran an active campaign on its mailing lists and social media to drive its users to fill out the survey. AISquared did nothing illegal, unethical, immoral, unfair or just plain wrong; they saw a marketing opportunity and, as WebAIM is a self selecting survey, they took advantage of a publicity bump they could achieve if they could make their numbers look better. The unfortunate side effect of the AISquared campaign, though, is that this year’s WebAIM results, already difficult to use due to the nature of self-selecting surveys, was polluted badly with Window-Eyes and ZoomText being disproportionately represented as none of the other screen reader publishers ran similar campaigns of their own. This made me very sad as the article I wrote about WebAIM Survey #6 took me a lot of time and effort, largely trying to find a reason that the numbers had changed so dramatically from year to year, only to learn after I published my findings that I was working with data that AISquared had skewed badly. So, no points for or against my predictive powers on this one.
- I predicted that Samsung would Also Fork Android Accessibility as has Amazon. To date, I’ve no solid evidence that this is true so I’ll score it as an incorrect prediction, thus, the score now stands at 1.5 correct out of 3.
- I predicted that we would see small Businesses forming To Provide NVDA Technical Support. While I’ve heard rumors of such, I haven’t seen evidence of this trend actually starting. Score: 1.5 out of 4.
- I predicted that I would Publish Something Here that would get Me Slammed by some group of blind fanboys who insist on spewing bullshit no matter what the actual facts say. This did not happen, probably because I hardly wrote about Android and other religious obsessions. Score: 1.5 out of 5.
- I predicted that we would see low cost Windows tablets emerging as competition to Apple in the mobile space. While I continue to see new and relatively low cost Windows tablets hitting the market, I can’t say that I’ve seen a whole lot of blind people take up using them. Score: 1.5 out of 6.
- I predicted that “something important would happen regarding accessibility and math,” which was a largely insincere prediction as it was based entirely on insider information. I had seen the work that my good friend Sina Bahram had done with DesignScience in NVDA and knew that it would be released publicly in 2015. But, I’m an insider and get to enjoy the benefits of insider information. Score: 2.5 out of 7.
- I predicted that Apple would continue to dominate the mobile space among blind users (a truth) but, in the same prediction, I stated that I believed that its accessibility would continue to deteriorate as it did in 2014. I was absolutely wrong on the second half of this one and wrote “Apple’s 2015 Accessibility Rebound” about the remediation and improvements that we saw in their 2015 product releases. I’ll take a half point for this one so the score is 3 out of 8.
Thus, I got 38% of my predictions correct. Now, I challenge you, find year old copies of tabloids that publish psychic predictions and see if any of them came up with a .375 batting average. I’ll put my predictive skills up against John Edwards or Sylvia Brown any day.
Analyzing The 2015 Numbers
The Broad View
This year, the blog received just over 21,000 unique page hits, a drop from a hit count greater than 25,000 in 2014. The single biggest difference from year to year was, in 2014, DaringFireball, a very popular mainstream technology site, put a link to one of my articles on its home page that led to approximately 6000 hits on that single article. In 2015, I didn’t get any incoming links from major mainstream sites so didn’t enjoy a bump in my hits that such will cause.
When I look at my Piwik statistics, I use arbitrary numbers to evaluate the relative success of an article. If I get 250 hits, I consider the article having been worthy of the time I spent researching, writing and editing it; if a piece gets 500 hits, I consider it a success; if an item reaches 750, it’s a win in my mind and, when we break 1000, I consider it a big win. Among the articles that first appear here 2015, we had zero big wins, two wins, seven successes, seven that were at least worthwhile and one absolute clunker. This year, it was my home page that got the most hits, almost all coming via search engines, with about twice as many as the article that received the most attention. With the home page excluded, we had a mean number of unique hits per page published in 2015 of roughly 500 compared to a mean of 1100 published in 2014. I should note that a number of the articles posted here continue to get hits over time and all of those posted in 2014 would, therefore, have had more time online to be discovered on search engines and read after the first week it’s live, the period in which a piece will get the majority of its readers.
Why did we see our mean hit count drop year to year?
First and most obviously, none of the articles we published this year reached the big win level and only two were wins at all. In 2014, we had four articles pull down more than 1000 hits with one grabbing over 6500 to date. Next, while we published 17 new articles this year, the two that received the most hits, “Testing Android Accessibility: I Give Up” and “The Death Of Screen Reader Innovation” were published in 2014 and 2013 respectively but, in 2015, combined for roughly 3000 hits and both would have been big wins on this year’s numbers alone as they’ve been in each year since they were published. , As with my home page, it appears as if readers find both through web searches. In fact, five of the top twenty articles this year were published in previous years, a new phenomena for this blog.
What About The Median?
Interestingly, though, is that while the most big wins were published in 2014, the median hit count for articles published in 2015 was just over 525 where same for 2014 was roughly 350. Thus, we had some huge wins published in 2014 but, overall, the typical article received more readers this year than last. I was disappointed that we had so many fewer winners this year but am happy to see the median hit count growing year to year.
Where Did The Readers Come From?
This year, of all visits to the site, 48% were direct entries, 29% came from search engines and 21% came from links on other web sites. This is a substantial change from 2014 where 75% of the visitors came as direct entries and less than 15% from search engines. I suppose my SEO is getting better.
Looking at which web sites were the source of the traffic, we find that it actually correlates with the direct entries, almost all of the traffic on this web site comes from Twitter, the only place I advertise the articles when they’re published. I tend to post articles at 9AM Eastern and I can usually tell how well an article will do by the number of retweets I see in the first few hours after publication. I don’t usually advertise my pieces on FaceBook (I did twice this year) but we did get a fair amount of hits from FB when others posted links to our articles there. Otherwise, links included on other web sites came to about 15% of the referrals and I appreciate it every time a reader posts a link to the site.
Thus, we can conclude that this blog’s readership is driven almost entirely by my Twitter feed (I’ve approximately 750 followers) and those of the kind people who retweet my announcements, some of whom are among the most prominent individuals in the accessibility business.
Piwik tracks all sorts of things about the traffic on a site. Here are some of the others that I found sort of interesting:
- 78% of all visitors came from desktop devices, 15% from smartphones and 5% from tablets.
- Piwik reports that the brand and model of the devices used to access this site could not be determined in more than 80% of the cases so we’ll skip this statistic as it’s entirely useless.
- Just over 60% of visitors were using Windows, 11% Macintosh, 10% iOS, 3.5% used Android and less than 2% GNU/Linux.
- 29% of visitors used Internet Explorer, 27% used Chrome, 21% used FireFox and 21% used Safari.
- Not at all surprisingly, 87.3% of our visitors had their browser language set to English and no other language represented more than 1.5% of such.
- Just over 50% of visitors come from within the United States, the UK comes in second with 8%, Canada next with 7%, 3.3% of visitors come from India, 3% from Australia and none other represents more than 1%.
- No single city represents more than 1% of visitor locales and approximately a third could not be determined.
What Did We Discuss This Year?
In my 2014 end of year summary, I was able to divide up my articles into a handful of fairly distinct categories. In 2015, the blog was less specific and, while broad themes like “access technology” and “screen reading,” were discussed, I can’t pigeon hole articles as easily into categories like “Android” or “Apple” as I tried to discuss issues in a broader context this year, hence, the articles are harder to organize by subject.
I definitely spent more time criticizing NFB this year than in the past. The article published in 2015 that got the most hits (roughly 825) is, “Who Are The Champions,” a piece that detailed the accessibility histories of NFB conference sponsors and demonstrated the incredible hypocrisy of the organization that claims to represent our community. This article surprised me in the comments section: I received absolutely no posts defending NFB on these issues. In the past, when critical of NFB, I’d at the very least get a token number of comments from the faithful federationists but, this time, based on a lot of private conversations I’ve had with loyal NFB members, they agreed with what I had written and chose to remain silent publicly.
This year, I wrote a number of articles that one might assemble under the loose heading hacking and/or hackers. In this group, I’m including articles I had written about the community driven NVDA Remote Access project, leadership in accessibility (which dovetails with the articles critical of NFB) and a nice bio piece about my buddy Tyler Spivey. These articles all beat the 500 *success level hit count but only one ached the level of being a win. I enjoyed writing these pieces and I’m happy they were successful among readers.
The Flatter Hit Count
In 2014, we had some articles perform incredibly well while others completely tanked. Those that were successful were easily categorized; in 2015, the article with the most hits was only a couple of hundred over the median and, excepting the one true loser, the worst was only a couple of hundred hits below it. No specific category jumps out from which I can draw much of a conclusion other than, “my readers are really not fond of the NFB technology strategy.” Otherwise, most articles were successful and, as seeing my hit count is the only reward for which I write the blog, I’m happy that people are reading the articles, tweeting out the links, posting comments and coming back year after year.
In early August, I posted an article called “My Favorite Rock And Roll Cover Songs” that generated a handful of really entertaining emails from readers which rarely happens here when very few people actually read an article. The article was fun to write and, based on the emails, the people who did read it seemed to enjoy it but, damn, very few of you read that one. Maybe take the time now to click through and give it a read, I still think it’s pretty good.
Predictions for 2016
It’s time for me to pull out the bong and listen to the sounds it makes to help me with my predictive powers. As I mention at the top, I got a little more than a third of my predictions for this year correct, maybe I’ll do better this time.
- My first prediction is to double down on our buddy Peter Korn and predict we’ll see more positive steps toward solid accessibility at Amazon. While we haven’t witnessed a major accessibility turnaround at Amazon yet, we need to remember that they’ve only had a person leading accessibility for two years and that Peter spent most of that first year trying to hire a staff. Amazon has a ton of different technology products, 180,000 employees and only one Peter Korn to lead this massive remediation effort.
- I will predict that, as we did this year, we’ll see both good and horrible accessibility come out of Google. I expect they’ll continue improving accessibility in their Chrome browser (on Windows and Android at least), that GoogleDocs will get even better and that Android accessibility will improve but not by a meaningful amount. I also predict that, as they did this year with their new framework and IDE, Google will release at least two new technology products with virtually zero accessibility included.
- I predict that the recent merger between Freedom Scientific and Optilec will result in absolutely nothing of significance to end users of the new company’s products. After this latest merger, the FS CEO was quoted as saying that separately Optilec and FS took much longer to innovate than the combined new organization will. As neither Optilec nor FS has done anything innovative in the past decade, I suppose that doubling the rate of innovation at the merged business will mean that it will produce absolutely zero innovations but do so in only five years. Users will be able to enjoy nothing new or interesting in half of the time they previously had to wait. . Doubling the pace of non-innovation doesn’t impress me but you may disagree.
- We will see more community driven and funded projects delivering useful technology for people with vision impairment and other disabilities for profoundly less money and in less time than under the traditional model of developing and distributing AT to we consumers.
- The highly competitive and incredibly insular accessibility consulting industry, where there are a fair number of similar companies doing similar tasks for similar prices will begin to experience some consolidation. I’ve no insider information on this subject but I predict at least one fairly high profile merger in this industry coming soon.
- I predict that Microsoft’s accessibility will improve on both Windows and the mobile version thereof. I made this same prediction for 2015 and was very wrong but, as Windows 10 was released with so many accessibility regressions, I find it hard to believe that they won’t improve at least somewhat this year.
- I predict that Apple will maintain its large lead in out-of-the-box accessibility and will get even better in 2016. Excepting the unfortunate iOS/8 release, every iOS since the iPhone 3GS has seen accessibility improvements and, although OS X saw regressions in some releases, the latest demonstrated a lot of fixes and some nifty new accessibility features as well.
- I predict that NFB will remain entirely pathological regarding technology and will maintain its strategy of selling endorsements to reward companies that do accessibility poorly while publishing at least one article in an official NFB publication trashing a business that does it reasonably well to being the very best. I will continue to write about NFB hypocrisy in this area but I don’t think that anything will ever cause them to stop the corrupt practices of shaking down companies for large contributions with a pile of legal threats. This year, they named Google “Accessibility Champions” which defines NFB as being nothing more than a pay to play, money talks, accessibility walks organization.
- Some large corporate and other institutional accessibility teams will read the WebAIM survey results and, because it’s the only marketshare data we have in this field, add Window-Eyes to their user test suite (virtually all already use ZoomText for low vision testing) believing that it saw actual market growth and not realizing how badly the data was polluted by a single marketing campaign. Others will look at the same WebAIM survey results and, as none stand out as obvious leaders, they will change their accessibility testing strategy to one that’s entirely standards based and includes little actual user experience. Adding Window-Eyes to a test suite won’t hurt users but will add more cost and longer schedules to accessibility quality assurance engineering, thus discouraging some from doing it at all.
- The long planned “Gonz Blinkoverse” podcast will start posting episodes in the first quarter of 2016. As this is entirely under my control, I can be pretty certain I’ll get this one right.
- A new, screen reader agnostic dictation system that works with both the built-in Windows dictation utility and most if not all versions of Dragon will be released as free, libre, open source software (FLOSS) at some point in the first half of 2016. This new utility will work with JAWS, Window-Eyes and, of course, NVDA and will be funded through a crowdsourcing campaign that the team will be announcing soon.
When I wrote the article summarizing 2014 a year ago, I felt it was pretty self serving. I was writing about the performance of my own blog and didn’t think too many people other than I would care to read it. A friend with whom I shared an early draft of the article suggested I add a “predictions” section and publish the article “as is.” When it turned out that the piece was fairly popular, I thought I might make an early December tradition out of writing such and this is the second one. I hope readers get something of value out of the piece, find it entertaining in some way and maybe be able to draw some conclusions of your own. Please do share your thoughts in the comments section below as I enjoy hearing reader’s opinions, good, bad or indifferent.
we run a website called NVApple:
and we were not convinced by the stats that emerged from the WEBAIM survey. So we decided to run another survey that hopefully (and I guess de-facto) represents a more realistic situation at least for Italy (in fact, we limited our survey to the Italian market).
We’re now in the process of gathering stats from the collected data. Let me know if you could be interestend in those stats…
Don Barrett says
Can’t wait for your podcasts. Keep up the great, honest, and passionate advocacy work you do so well.
Allison H. says
Thanks for the post. I for one enjoy all the data and stats. I feel like we get so little useful data in the blindness field or AT specifically that I’m excited to find anyone who’s tracking any of it. Plus, I’m happy your blog is doing well.
Phil Vlasak says
In your predictions
• I predicted that I would Publish Something Here that would get Me Slammed by some group of blind fanboys who insist on spewing bullshit no matter what
the actual facts say. This did happen, probably because I hardly wrote about Android and other religious obsessions. Score: 1.5 out of 5.
You scored it as if you didn’t get any slams but in the sentence you said you did.
Or you could consider this a slam of your editing and then give yourself another point.
Chris Hofstader says
Hey Phil! You caught the magic missing word “not” that I neglected to include in the original. It’s there now, thanks for the correction.
Mary Otten says
If you played baseball, you’d be making a hell of a lot of green with that batting average!
Do you know if older Fire tablets can be updated with this new version of the screen reader? I’d also love to hear what improvements you feel have been made.
Kevin Chao says
Why are you so hard on Google accessibility?
Please see this discussion:
Where overall, iOS VoiceOver users are happy with accessibility of Google apps.
Android 6.0 improved accessibility in many areas: drag/drop custom actions on Google launcher, status bar items are individual elements, and other noteworthy to accessibility framework/API.
I posted following to Eyes-Free list:
A few Talkback updates later, 9 months later, and let’s reflect on progress since this March survey from InclusiveAndroid.com. Over half of the items/points: 1, 2, 6, 7, and others were addressed by TalkBack team.
LightHouse-SF and Google partnered to do Usability Studies:
Lastly, Google new or redesigned products in past last year are quite accessible/usable. Material design spec has accessibility baked-in: http://www.google.com/design/spec/usability/accessibility.html#
Chris Hofstader says
Thanks for such a well written and sourced comment, I really appreciate the effort and I am sure our readers will as well. I do, however, disagree with your assertions for the following reasons:
I am continuously hard on Google, Apple, Oracle, Amazon, GNU/Linux and Microsoft. I’m a critic, I write criticism. I did say that Google made some improvements but, if you want to talk Android accessibility, I ask the you did what we did: take an new iOS device and a new Android device, both running all of the latest and greatest software on that platform. On iOS, install all Apple branded apps that do not come installed by default, do the same with the Android device. Then, app by app, control by control, test every item against every possible accessibility feature. You will find that both have thousands of tests that can be performed just to ensure that the controls are compatible with the OS accessibility API. With iOS/9, if you divide those that passed the tests by the total number of tests, you will find about a dozen failures in thousands of possibilities, providing a 100% score; do the same on Android and discover that the score is below 40%. If you are both unwilling and too lazy to do the many hours of testing that we did on this effort, then I ask that you respect the results that we published.
Meanwhile, explain why Google still releases brand new software, the new IDE and framework, for instance with zero accessibility built in. Explain to me why the advertise Tango as “having possibilities for people with vision impairment” but do so on a web page with a pile of accessibility problems and the development tools for such is also 100% inaccessible, thus prohibiting us from participating in our own futures. Explain why, years after being notified that GoogleAnalytics was inaccessible, it has seen zero improvements and is an important tool in many job sites.
I am an accessibility purist and compare everything to the gold standard. Today, the gold standard comes from Apple on iOS. Years ago, I wrote articles with titles like “Apple Just Sucks” slamming them over accessibility and celebrating the gold standard of that day: JAWS with Windows XP. A year ago, I ran a series of three articles slamming Apple over its IP strategy, the poor iOS/8 release and the accessibility regressions in OS X 10.10. This year, after doing a lot of testing, I wrote an article called “Apple’s 2015 Accessibility Rebound.” If Google releases something I actually find to be impressively accessible, maybe an Android with an 80% accessibility score, I’ll write celebrating that too.
I try to avoid forming opinions that aren’t based on actual data. In my mind, iOS versus Android, if it was a basketball game, would be 100 to 40, a monstrous victory. When I do make assertions based purely on my own use cases and not based in objective measures, I make sure I state that it is purely my own opinion and that other individual’s may find different results.
So, if you can find any specific facts that I got wrong, I will happily go back in and make changes (as I’ve done on articles in the past) but, unless you can demonstrate with real data that Google is not just improving (I did state that and also predicted they would continue getting better this year) but that they can demonstrate superior accessibility to something else, find a case where they are the true accessibility winner (based in objective measures) and I’ll publish your results. While I haven’t done the testing on such myself, I would bet that the one place where Google may actually be better than an alternative regarding accessibility might be GoogleDocs, when and if I get actual test results comparing it to MS Office Online, I’ll publish them no matter the outcome.
Lastly, if you would ever like to write a guest post for this blog, I’ll do no more than correct grammar and add the Markdown stuff so it has the same structure I use for all of the other articles here. You can write something that disagrees with me in any way you like but I’d appreciate you avoid ad hominem and other logical fallacies, so no name calling. In fact, the comment you posted, with a bit more narrative prose, would make a good article and I’ll post it if you flush it out. I’m happy to publish well reasoned dissenting opinions if outsiders send them to me.
Trenton Matthews says
I myself would like to know Chris, if you ever used or have owned a Chrome OS device before, particularly testing it for Google Docs/Drive support, Google Groups, GMail/Inbox, and coming up with your own conclusions.
I have been a user of Chrome OS and Chromevox, since December 11 of 2014, and although its certainly no VoiceOver or Narrator, what it “can” do, does well.
Official site for Chromevox is:
, and for info on the up coming “Chromevox Next” which is replacing the current one (when its ready,) see:
, though even in the “stable” channel of Chrome OS, it can be acced if folks wish to try it out. Switching back to the “classic” version, is as easy as pressing CTRL-Alt-Z on a Chrome OS device, to turn Chromevox off, then back on.
Although I myself use Chrome OS daily, most blind people won’t even touch a Chromebook/Chromebox/Chromebase/Chromebit, since people feel that a browser OS/device will not or can’t fullfill their needs.
I use and own, an Acer Chromebook 11:
Thanks for reading, keep up the fine work, and I can’t wait to check out your podcast starting in the new year!
Chris Hofstader says
I’ve only touched a ChromeBook once, when VirginAmerica was offering free use of such on long flights as some kind of promotion. That was a very early one and the accessibility was really poor, especially in that it’s a network intense device running on slow, crappy airline Internet. Since, I’ve only ever spoken to a single blind person who has tried one and I think he was using a similarly early version. In fact, the ChromeBook gets mentioned so infrequently among everyone I know, blind or otherwise, that I rarely even consider it as existing at all.
Hence, it may be tremendously good regarding accessibility but, until you posted your comment this morning, I had no idea.
As I don’t care to go out and get one only to test and write an article about it (I’m entirely happy with all of the gear I currently own having recently upgraded a few things), I’d be happy if you wrote a guest post for the blog all about your experience with it. You needn’t test every control everywhere, that’s time consuming, boring and something only a crazy person like me would take on but 1500 words on what you use effectively and what you’d like to see get better would be great. Don’t worry if you aren’t confident in your writing, I’m a good editor and I’ll handle the formatting so it fits the standard I use for everything else.
Now, I wonder where I can borrow a ChromeBook to give it a ride. I suppose I could buy one at BestBuy, live with it for a week and return it but I feel sleazy when I do the “free rent” way of getting technology products for testing.
Trenton Matthews says
Ya know? One of the best places to find Chromebooks on the cheap, is following Brent Sullivan on Google Plus:
, especially since he announces new says of Chrome devices daily, and in many cases, hourly!
In addition, although its mostly sighted people there, (over 35,000 of them,) the largest Chromebook community around, can be found here:
, while Google’s “official” one, can be found here:
For “low-traffic” Chrome communities, specifically dedicated to the blind, see:
As for writing my own experience with Chromevox and Chrome OS in general, I too will also be starting a podcast series dealing with the matter. I shall post within the comments here, once the “Chromeverse” podcast begins next January.
I am happy to do a “guest post” on your blog, though at least for me, voice is my primary way for expressing things. At least, its a lot easier.
PS. A lot of blind folks won’t buy Chrome devices, not because of accessibility, but its more to do with many people, (including sighted,) either being scared of the “Cloud,” or they just can’t or won’t embrace the beauty of an OS that’s under the hood, a web browser.
Trenton Matthews says
In addition to my last comment,
Although it ain’t the latest, Talkback 4.3.1, is now “Open Source”:
, thus that page will be updated accordingly.
Because of the above, there is so far “one” version of Talkback made by someone else, called “Mushy Talkback”:
, where the main thing of it, is replacing the current Talkback sounds with more soothing ones.
I am not sure if you’ve ever check out a Samsung S6/Note5 or newer Phone with their own version of Talkback called “Voice Assistant,” (formally called “Galaxy Talkback,”) with the many VoiceOver-like gestures its got:
, but as many have on the Eyes-Free list have pointed out, it uses Talkback 3.5.1:
and not a newer version. Well, not until Samsung gets Android 6.0 on to their devices anyway…
To be fair though, from Talkback 3.5.2, through 4.2.0, no Talkback source code was ever made to the public.
Lastly, if you’d like to join the “official” Talkback Open Source Google Group, please see:
, or send an empty email to:
Trenton Matthews says
Seeing that I somehow broken link to the Talkback-OpenSource group page, here it is again corrected:
This comment may be deleted, and the bad link be replaced in the prior comment, if you wish.
Kevin Chao says
Android Studio 2.0 was made as accessible as Java accessibility allows for:
It’d be great to know what you think can be improved with IDE.
If using widgets from framework, accessibility is baked-in per Material Design spec in previous comment.