Suggestion: Report-An-Accessibility-Bug-Friday

Accessibility Advocacy

Hi all,

I want to make a proposal for an accessibility report-a-bug-Friday tradition, in order to try and bring greater emphasis to accessibility-related problems we seem to be dealing with on a regular basis, particularly for OS X Yosemite, though of course iOS as well.

The idea is very simple. Every Friday, we each take one grievance that we experience with the accessibility of an Apple product, and report it to Apple. The feedback should be polite, constructive, thorough and, wherever possible, reproducible. Registered Developers do it using Apple's bug tracker, where others do it using the feedback forms. Optionally, talk about it on this or other forums or mailing lists, in order to establish the nature and severity of the problem with others.

This idea is not new; it has been done before in the context of Mac OS X on a mainstream basis. However, we would make the message that accessibility is important clearer by concentrating all our efforts on it, and doing so on Fridays. Apple's quality issues are of course being felt across the board, and we can't expect an overnight result, but we would at least make it clear that we are experiencing real problems, that they exist, and that they are faults with Apple's products that should be fixed. Only then can we hope to make the objective case for defection, should that ever prove necessary.

What do you think?

And please, if your response to this is simply to deny that there are problems, or to say that the problem with blind people is that they complain too much (an absurd and inaccurate generalisation), I'd really much rather you started another thread or contribute to the many existing ones. I want those people who are up for the idea to signify their ascent so we can really do this, responsibly and with resolution. Of course, if you want to be critical of the idea, please go ahead; I'm simply not interested in all the self-serving denials. We are all here to get the best access we can to Apple products and to be as equal with others as can be hoped for.





Submitted by AppleVis on Thursday, February 12, 2015

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team


As a general rule, we encourage everyone--beta testers and first-time users alike--to report accessibility bugs to Apple whenever issues present themselves.

For those who do not have developer accounts, we've previously been told that contacting Apple Accessibility directly via is the preferred method for reporting accessibility bugs, rather than using the feedback forms.

We also have a list of tips for creating effective bug reports here which should help get one started in the process.

Submitted by Sebby on Thursday, February 12, 2015

Quite forgot the accessibility address. :)

This is quite right; the accessibility address will open a ticket in their systems now too, I think.

Submitted by Sebby on Friday, February 20, 2015

Hey! It's Friday! Woo-hoo! That means I get to report an accessibility bug to Apple.

On this Friday, my grievance is with QuickNav in OS X VoiceOver. Specifically, bug 19901080 describes one of my biggest annoyances with QuickNav, which is simply that it's slow. When used, QuickNav effectively represents an across-the-board performance penalty for the user. You're better off with a numpad, a trackpad, or worst of all, just using the VO keys. Even Control-Option-lock is a better deal if navigation efficiency is top priority.

How about you? What's your issue today?

Submitted by Jim on Friday, February 20, 2015

It would be nice if someone could create a form on here that would send an email to apple accessibility, kind of guiding them through the process to make sure that it is all proper, but I realize that could be dangerous.

Submitted by Sebby on Friday, February 20, 2015

It's a nice idea, but the last thing we'd want to do is flood the accessibility team / ticket system with nonsense. Perhaps the trigger could be pulled by an AppleVis mod; the forum would contain one topic per bug, and all the posts on the topic could be selected for inclusion into the ticket. Mmm, it's an idea, anyway.

Submitted by Sebby on Friday, February 27, 2015

Here's a fairly well-known OS X accessibility inanity for this sunny Friday, and the source of a lot of amusement for Windows accessibility apologists everywhere: bug 19984215 is the highly annoying VoiceOver behaviour when interacting with paragraphs in HTML content, or with plain text documents, of either simply reading from the first line of the paragraph, or jumping randomly through the document. This makes reviewing line-by-line practically impossible while browsing the web.

While I was using Snow Leopard again recently, in respect of a bygone era, I noticed that the bug was not present; it has been introduced since that time.

Submitted by Usman on Friday, February 27, 2015

Could you log this in the appropriate OS X bug database if it isn't there by now?

Submitted by Sebby on Saturday, February 28, 2015

Which database is that? It is in Apple's bug tracker and also the OpenRadar open bug database. If you mean the AppleVis bug lists, I think that's something only a mod can do.

Submitted by Sebby on Friday, March 6, 2015

Let's go with something concrete, recent, serious and obvious today. Bug 20070149 is the TextEdit navigation bug that is already known by AppleVis.

This bug makes TextEdit in Yosemite essentially unusable, so I marked it as having the highest priority possible. I hope you've also reported this one to Apple already--that is, if you've used TextEdit at all.

Incidentally, I was a little bit alarmed to have been asked for a screenshot of my VO preferences in the reporting of my previous bug. I sent them my VoiceOver preferences file instead.

Submitted by Sebby on Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Apple says that making the layout vertical actually is supposed to change horizontal and vertical cursor-key navigation.

Or in other words, "Make layout vertical" isn't changing the writing direction, but the orientation.

No, I don't really understand how that works, either, but I'll file this one under "So that's how it works, then" and move on.

Submitted by Sebby on Friday, March 20, 2015

I'm back!

Of course, I hardly intended to go anywhere, but apologies for my absence last week. These bug reports are surprisingly tiring.

This week, I'm sticking with the practical issues of more significant concern to OS X users: bug 20238990 is the familiar problem to power-users of Mail whereby the header fields are essentially unusable for obtaining email addresses, because you can't open the shortcut menu on the addresses. If you do mailing lists and have to reply to get someone's address, you are looking at this bug.

Submitted by Sebby on Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The immediately preceding bug was marked as duplicate, and the duplicated bug was open.

From now on I'll just leave a record in OpenRadar; saves on clutter. Here, I'll simply say what I've filed to get comments.

It's good to know these bugs are actually getting looked at now, though whether acted on ...

Submitted by Sebby on Friday, March 27, 2015

Are you among the many of us who simply turn sounds off in OS X's VoiceOver? Do you ever wish you didn't have to do that? Are you disappointed by the lack of flexibility in when sounds are played? Does it not strike you as very odd that despite the many options Apple has for solving this problem, without giving any preference to any of them, that they simply chose to simply make sounds play before speech output?

Yeah, it's these little things. Time to hold them to a divine standard, before the mediocrity claims VoiceOver for good. I submitted bug 20324836.

Submitted by Sebby on Sunday, April 5, 2015

Sorry I'm late. I've been in Windows quite a bit recently.

I'll be honest, I've missed formant synthesis. bug 20419433 is my simple request for the use and development of formant synthesis on Apple platforms. No, I'm not very hopeful--it's marked as wishlist. However, it's not just me that's asking, so if you've ever had the same feeling, write to Apple and let them know. I realise that Apple doesn't do obsolete tech, but I'm also positive that I'd benefit from a formant synthesiser. So, we should try and dislodge the mighty Apple from their high horse, if we can.

Submitted by Sebby on Friday, April 10, 2015

But only on Windows.

Let's face it, MUDding on the Mac is needlessly hampered by a very silly bug, that being the one described in bug 20498329, whereby speech from the output of a Terminal window or other application is interrupted by subsequent speech from that same window. You can't control what should happen when new text arrives, so you're forced into using the VO cursor to navigate the window.

Submitted by Sebby on Friday, April 17, 2015

Do you use Screen Curtain, the feature of VoiceOver that turns down your display brightness?

You should: it saves your battery. I have this habit of turning it on whenever I think it might be off.

On my Mac. Did you notice that on iOS, Screen Curtain sticks--that is, it switches itself back on automatically when you restart your device or VoiceOver? A real life-saver.

So my bug 20582798 is a request for Apple to copy the iOS behaviour of Screen Curtain to OS X. Here's one feature of iOS that's actually worth having on my Mac.

Submitted by Sebby on Friday, April 24, 2015

I've just got my Apple Watch, and it's pretty damned awesome, so I feel a little bit bad about this, but duty is duty.

If I set up iOS to deliver Mail notifications as alerts, then for whatever reason, as described in bug 20691563, I never actually see the text of the email preview. VoiceOver just doesn't update the notification after the message is loaded, so I just get an impressively unhelpful "Loading ...".

I only have one other iOS bug on my list at the moment, as it's pretty nasty. But it does make a nice change from the Mac. There's that, I suppose. :)

Submitted by Sebby on Friday, May 1, 2015

Nothing special here, I just finally decided to get this filed because I'll be going through the whole bloody thing very soon when setting up my MacBook again. The AppleVis bug is hither and my own bug, 20777141, is thither.

Submitted by Sebby on Friday, May 8, 2015

I have a problem, or rather more accurately, had a problem in the past, and it was this: I couldn't understand how the Dock could be of any use at all if you couldn't add anything to it. Of course, eventually, some time later, I learned how, and it is something you can find for yourself, but probably not before getting royally frustrated. bug 20871339 describes my issue.

Submitted by Sebby on Friday, June 12, 2015

It's Friday, and it's been a while since I was on here to enjoy a good whinge. Besides, Apple are working on the latest shiny-shiny and I just can't let them put out yet another unfinished OS X release to the vision-impaired community, praise be upon the iBenediction.

Now, iBooks for Mac. Do you use it? I don't. The reason is not that I dislike the reading aspect of the application, especially--not after they made it accessible, anyway--but that the way it stores its data makes it impossible to use safely. I'd much rather remove it from my Mac and go back to iTunes, just so my (non-Apple) books are stored safely. Bug 21356477 describes my problem, which would be remedied if the part that allows export of books to the filesystem were accessible. Then, I could use iBooks for Mac as well as iOS, instead of routinely and forcibly purging iBooks from every installation of OS X.

Submitted by Daniel Angus M… on Monday, June 22, 2015

Club AppleVis Member

I think it's a great idea. their's lots of bugs that should be fixed in IOS, os x, watch os, apple tv, time capsial, and Xcode and server. all the dev who use Xcode probably have lists of bugs and they need to be fixed, just os x and iOS accessibility bugs. the feedback assistant is explained so even the novice mac or iOS user can submit valuable feedback.