Need more people writing developors to change inaccessibility
Truthfully, I appreciate the idea that we want to utilize eachother to work around issues and bugs. But maybe it could also be prudent to band together and submit emails 30-40 at a time or more so that developers take greater notice and possibly make efforts to resolve some of the issues we present to one another.
In one post, I noticed a user submit a company email so that everyone could email them and submit a message to ask for changes to inaccessibility. The post was made by someone using the grub hub app.
Why is this not happening more? Why aren't we providing eachother with ways to contact developers? 3 or 4 of us might not be noticed and if we are , developers usually feel it might be low priority as they haven't received enough messages from people. As a result, if they are aware of it, it might not be fixed because enough people aren't sending messages about it.
How many of us have heard stories where a bug was noticed by hundreds, thousands, even millions of people and are fixed within days? How many of us have heard about a group of people banding together and submitting unified messages to developers and getting a feature changed or fixed? We don't need a million emails, maybe just 30-40 of us. Maybe 20 of us. Maybe a hundred of us. The point is more than we have doing it now.
I don't think a petition is what is needed. I believe that we need to start providing email addresses to eachother where we can write to developers and submit issues, questions, and requests for more accessibility. If it is too much trouble, then perhaps applevis itself can help us with these email addresses and post them on each page where an app is being discussed.
I constantly write and call Apple Accessibility. Most of the time, they state that some of the bugs are totally new to them and they haven't heard about it before. Their biggest point of contention is that many of the bugs reported are by only a handful of people so it becomes difficult to prioritize what should be fixed and what should be held off until more people reach out about it. In some cases, the reps have stated that perhaps because such a low volume of individuals have reported the issues, they sometimes don't believe it to actually be a bug, isolated to a small number since the majority has not reached out.
Writing to developers and engineers takes no more time than it does to write eachother a message. We should be doing this in larger numbers than we are doing. If we do not combine our voices, then they might not hear us. If we do though, they might take greater notice.
Please, I beg you to consider what I am writing. AppleVis, maybe you can lend a hand. This is so so so important and so valuable to us as Apple users depending on accessibility.
As stated, a petition is useful, but sending 100 separate emails might bring the point across better because developers have to sift through a hundred emails instead of one page with a hundred signatures.
Please, lets band together and blow up their inboxes so that we can at least be heard, seen, and possibly considered.
Hello. Though there are quite a number of bugs, in everything from the Mac OS to IOS etc, I'm curious why we have to "blow up", the developers inboxes. It's all in how you phrase what you want, not the volume of responses you get from fifty different people. Accessibility is such a wide spectrum of contention, what i think is fine to use, you may dislike and want more things fixed. Maybe others need to report inaccessibility but it's how you go about doing it. I see no reason that one or even two emails may not generate soem change if not a response. Also remember that the market of voice over users is quite small in the grand scheme of things, therefore sometimes it may not be worth spending what limitted profits you obtain on procuring accessibility element s that you were told by a few users need fixing as soon as possible. There's also the long wait times so even if say Grubhub which you stated in your previous comment already has a fix, it may not be shown for a couple of weeks. My personal view on apps is, I look at this site, choose whether or not to buy an app, and if I don't see the app on the site, I have no problem buying it to test myself. That's how i do things, granted there are others who exclusively may brose and buy according to the recent apps updated here. It's all in how you talk to them and my own view is that 100 or more emails might not only anger the developer but could possibly lead to an ignore on a much greater scale. Case in point, guided photo pro was a great app i got tons of use out of. Past IOS six, it stopped working. I wrote this site, was not responded, so i went and emailed the developer. No response. So I've taken the app off my phone with the knowledge that I tried, and at least I got some use out of the app in the short time I had it. Now if it's updated, fantastic, if not? I see no harm.
Like you said, you emailed and no one responded. If 20 people emailed, it might be become more important to the developer. If 50, 100, 1000 emailed, it might become a priority.
Your view is the problem in my opinion as it is narrow and individualized to the point where you may not care about anyone else or their needs as long as yours are met.
The point of this post is to put our efforts together.
In my opinion, many blind people are the type of people that wait for others to advocate for them. I don't know you, your life, or the things that have happened in your life. But speaking generally, most blind people I have met (quite a few) are way too dependant on others to help them and way to passive when it comes to advocacy. That is one of the reasons there is an 80% unemployment rate in the USA for blind individuals. That is why 50% of that 20% that is employed are under employed; Because they wait for others to handle their affairs. Put that with the fact that many sighted individuals are uncomfortable around blind people, are unsure of what blind people may be capable of, and why the majority feels sorry for blind individuals because they feel we are not able and we let them help us through most of the things we want or need to do.
If I have offended you, I will not apologize at all as you are entitled to your opinion just as I am.
Indifference is why the bugs in Jaws don't get fixed, why Google's accessibility is mostly lacking, why if Apple decided to get rid of voiceover as a product, the majority of blind people who use it would be screwed, why there is no accessibility functionality on Windows Phone. Because the majority waits and essentially does nothing while the few who do try make little progress for the rest of us.
What I meant by blowing up inboxes is sending enough messages and making enough calls so that the developer notices and decide its worth investing the time and money to make fixes, changes, or adjustments.
Even if 50 people send different messages about accessibility that ultimately don't say the same thing, that's 50 more than before and worth noticing. However, the point was to discuss the issues, locate the proper email address, draft a simple, concise, direct letter describing our issues, and individually submitting separate emails with the same message.
I think the people who made the apps would get annoyed and not want to add access to there apps.
While I see what you're saying sending 50 or 100 emails about accessibility doesn't always mean they'll listen to you.
I haven't tried sending emails to developers myself yet, but might in the future.
Hopefully they're listen. but if not, I tried. I don't think it matters how many emails we send them really.
First off, I understood what "blow up." was, I didn't agree with it, still do not. That's my choice. However, saying my point of view is narrow because I'm individualized to only get my needs met, is incorrect and as well, disrespectful. I tried not to belittle your views, I simply stated my own. I'm not taking away any wind from your sail, if you and others want to write the accessibility teams over and over, that's absolutely your call to do so. Should something get changed because of your efforts, congratulations. Brad had a point, they may not want to listen to 100 1000 emails, that's what I was attempting to get across. Instead, you've chosen to put me in the category of unemployed blind people when clearly you've no idea what my day to day life is. Simply put,I agree to disagree. i'm not passive, nor am I waiting for others to do things for me. I was concise, this is how I do things, it may or may not work for you. I don't depend on others for help as I made it crystal clear that i attempt to do work with developers myself to better educate them on accessibility.
I have no job myself and live in the UK. once I move out, i'm going to try to get a job but not being payed, you nowhen you work helping people for nothing? I forget what it's called. I'll end up living off of benifets, would I like a job getting my own money? Hmm not sure, but honestly at the moment, I'm not bothered how I get money as long as I do. be it gotherment or jobb. So many people say oh I wouldnt' want to live off of the gotherments money but i say, it's money what diffirence does it make where it comes from? anyway that's off topic but I do have a question. I don't understand how Vash rein said you were one of the unemployed blind people. I've checked through the message and no where does it mention your work or job or anything to do with money at all. so Can you clear that up for me? I'm confused.
Hello brad. I'll leave the off topic part of your message there. The original poster didn't say I myself was in that category, but it was implied that, I was narrow minded only wanting my own needs met and not being a team player as it were. That's what I've taken a disagreement with, it's not about one comment it's the whole message. I didn't mean to confuse you. Believe me, if I were less then civilized I would really enjoy going off on others views I don't abide by, however I was and still am trying to keep the peace, respect others oppinions, and I'm simply asking for that respect in turn. No I don't agre with the poster, and in fact if they succeed, all the more power to them, I just don't care for being judged when I did my best not to judge their view.
Ah. I understand now, thanks.
AppleVis periodically holds a Campaign of the Month, where we provide a very easy way for users to email the developer of a particular app regarding accessibility issues. More information is available at http://www.applevis.com/campaign.
Users are able to recommend an app for a future campaign by visiting http://www.applevis.com/campaign/nominate.
Like you, our goal is to increase accessibility awareness. We have thought about including developer contact information in iOS and Mac app directory entries. However, the reality is that (1) such information is not always available, and (2) that it would add yet another layer of complexity to the app directory entry process. In general, the more complex something is, the less likely it is that users will engage.
As always, please feel free to share developer contact information in the appropriate forum topic/app directory entry.
Hi Michael, given that you just commented I wanted to make it known that i do appreciate the whole site and all the apps, podcasts and reviews being put up. My only bone of contention of the mass emailing and demand for change, not what it is about. I just wanted to say thank you for having such a good site. Have a good one.
If you send a clear, concise email to a developer with good grammar, make your point, suggest resources to explain Voiceover and what resources are out there for developers, and perhaps offer to assist them in any way possible with accessibility issues, I think you are more likely to get a positive response from a developer. If, on the other hand, you send an email to a developer DEMANDING they make their app more accessible, have typos left and right, and dont' even explain what resources are available for accessibility, you shouldn't be surprised when a developer ignores your email. Just my thoughts from personal experience. Send ten emails from Example 1, I bet the response would be 100 times better than if you sent 500 emails from example 2.
Can this be on the main home page someware? I don't see it so I thought that you guys were not doing it anymore.
Just a suggestion.
Hi. Speaking of contacting developers, I am one of the people who do it almost every time I find an inaccessible app that I would like to be able to use. I agree that emailing developers of inaccessible app store apps is a good idea and that the more people who email, the more chance there is of the accessibility problems being fixed. However, some inaccessible apps and tweaks can also be found in Cydia. Unlike the app store, It is easy to email the developers of apps and tweaks in Cydia, because every package has a link to email the developer. The app store does not have this. I still think that if you have the email address for an app store app that is inaccessible, then it is a good idea to use it or if you do not have it, try to find it on google. Often times just typing in the app name and then iOS app will bring up the support website or email address or other contact info. So for example: type: Tunein Radio iOS app. Or you could just try asking on places like applevis or mailing lists to find out if someone knows the email address for the developer of a certain app. For Cydia, I made a post on this site and I explained how to email Cydia developers and then me and 1 or 2 other people listed some inaccessible tweaks and apps. The link is below. I shortened it so it would fit on one line. Links that take up more then one line can sometimes be hard to click. I urge you all to have a look at it and maybe do some emailing to the developers of some or all of the packages mentioned in that thread. Also, if you find anymore inaccessible packages, please ad them to that thread by leaving a comment so more people can also email the developer of that package. Also, please pass this link around on mailing lists, facebook, twitter, forward it to family and friends and do anything else you can think of to get this link to as meny people as possable. Thank you. http://bit.ly/1k5bf3s
Entire point of it is to essentially get them to take notice, and even annoy them to the point where they want us to stop so that they break down and say it's worth giving them accessibility. Why is everybody so afraid to work hard for something that in the end will be important for all of us? We need to change our reputations as a group that fights for things that we want. I despise being known as a group that is dependent on others. I despise not being seen as equal by people who assume things about me due to what others might be doing which visually impaired.
You might say that I am offended by other visually impaired individuals. I Truly am because many in my opinion just don't do enough to show others that they are just as valuable as any sighted person.
All I asked for was for us to band together and that doesn't seem very likely. That's probably why nothings going to change and if it does, it'll be either halfway or so far in the future that it doesn't matter
As stated, I want you to be offended. If this doesn't work, then I can settle for you thinking about why you believe the things you do. Can settle for you reconsidering your position on things. Because you might change your opinion in a year or five years or 10 years and next person that asks you to help might get a different response from you than I have.
I would rather you be offended and moved to action than you to be pleased and become complacent and do nothing.
Everybody is way too politically correct and way too worried about what consequences might be. it's more important to be direct so that others may understand and think deeper about what we are trying to express.
With most of the apps that are inaccessible, they are in accessible because they use engines to develop them, like unity. If we want accessible apps, the writers of these in the in's needs to be targeted, not the small fry developer. These engines aren't just using games, but also in game books, music software, etc.
First, I totally respect your intense passion for improving accessibility. I think that a "I won't let my blindness define me" attitude is certainly important.
Second, I respect your right to express your opinion, even though I think your advocacy style is quite offensive and very much disagree with it.
To be frank, I think coming here and deliberately trying to offend people ("As stated, I want you to be offended")--albeit in an effort to get them to take action--is far more likely to simply alienate you from the community than it is to affect widespread change.
I believe that respect of developers is a two-way street. If I were a developer and received dozens of e-mails demanding that my app be made accessible, I would be much more likely to ignore those e-mails because they were demanding. Simply e-mailing developers so much that they will improve accessibility...just to stop the e-mails...feels really unproductive and inconsiderate to me.
For an app to be made accessible, a developer must be just as willing to make the changes as I must be to contact them. If I reach out to a developer and they are unresponsive, it isn't my problem. E-mailing (spamming?) a developer 100 times will not change his/her view if they really do not give a darn about accessibility. So, if they don't respond to my e-mails and/or other ways of contacting them (Twitter, Facebook, etc.), I'll take my business elsewhere and encourage others to do the same.
It is totally not about writing a developer and demanding changes at all. It is about banding together and instead of sending five emails, sending something along the lines of 30 to 40 so that the developer does take more notice.
If one or two people send an email about accessibility, the developer might not pay attention and simply assume that it is isolated to a very small number of people. But if 10, 20, 50, 100 send an email, then the developer is more likely to think wow, there are so many people asking for this, maybe I should pay attention. developers focus on what the majority is requesting. They generally don't make changes if one or two people ask for it. But if enough people do ask for it, then they might become more responsive.
When I say let's blow up there inbox, I don't mean let's email them and curse them out or say negative things. I mean let's have a group of people as large as possible right similar emails to the developer asking for changes. I repeat asking.
Hasn't it ever occured to you that maybe some of the Apple bugs aren't fixed because enough people aren't emailing or calling Apple? I am not saying that everybody has to. Just suggesting that maybe more should do it. We are a minority yes, but if enough of us get together, the people who helped to provide us with accessibility or sometimes do not might take greater notice to what we actually want. It isn't about demanding for things guys. It's about respectfully asking for things in a greater number.
I agree, but again I bring up the viber issue. A lot of us emailed, tweeted, asked nicely and they for 4 years now think we mean voice control, so yeah that particular developer is not getting the point and should in my opinion be dashed off the list of those who care.
I think if the campaign of the month re reinstated then that might be easier. A simple button to hit. Some of us are not proficient in the language the developer speaks so this might be easier.
Vash. At least i am not alone in others who disagree with the method to getting change. Perhaps in the case of apple bugs, they haven't been fixed because it's hard to reproduce them, or the person didn't write clear instructions of how to produce the problem. As for the engine, Ken made a great point, if the developer only has a few engines to work with, and maybe some of them are free and the one we need might cost money, of course he's going to use the free one, regardless of the app being free or not. You still would like the developers to have emails by the minute, asking for changes, you'll still asking everyone you know to get such and such an app accessible. What if i don't use the app, have no interest in the app am I stil required to submit feedback? In your mind, yes, because again I'm one of the persons who may or may not make change. As for the comment of you want me to be offended, you went considerably over the line in trying to get a rise out of me. I tried to disagree politely and you came back forcefully shoving your opinion in my face. You know what, I didn't deserve that. If you want change, you have to have to be willing, to work with others who may not care as much about the cause as you. I'll get behind any really great campaign, I can work withothers who's values opinions I don't share. I would very much like to express exactly how your comments have made me feel, and respond on a point by point basis to honestly show you who I am, but because this site has guidelines I will only say this. I hope the next person who you approach to ask for help you treat better then you've treated me. I will continue to enjoy apple's work, the apps I find, and when needed try to get accessibility changes in my own way. This is the last post I will make on this subject.
Just because you don't use an app right now doesn't mean you won't want to use it tomorrow. You are not required to do anything in your life except unfortunately, pass on one day and be the race that you were born into. Those things you cannot change. But there's so much more that you can impact by trying.
Would trying an application that others have had issues with, and leaving feedback to be part of a greater voice be such a big deal for you? Would it take so much time out of your day? you leave feedback on this website, why not to developers?
Developers tend to go for what makes them the most money Or gives them the most attention. Their bottom line usually isn't about creating an application that benefits everybody, but instead is usually geared towards gaining the most customers in order to make the most money. They Use whatever engine that is most cost-effective to maximize profits. By emailing a developer and asking for accessibility might make it important for them to recognize that we are a customer base which can improve their profit margin. Or, it can improve their download numbers so that they gain more attention.
And saying that it's difficult to reproduce certain bugs or issues is not necessarily wrong. But doesn't that mean we should be working harder to collaborate to express what is going on? Shouldn't we be figuring out how to accurately reproduce the issues so that we can provide a concise, meaningful letter to those whom we wish to attend to our issue?
I believe that hard things deserve more attention than anything else. Even the things that don't matter to us today simply because they might matter to us tomorrow. If we try to fix them right now, it'll be easier in the future for us all.
Have you ever heard the story of the little red hen? She worked with her companions to make a loaf of bread. Various other animals had no interest in the bread or working to actually gmake it. They did not want to contribute to its creation, but when it was actually finished, they wanted to contribute in eating. The little red hen asked why they should help her eat it when they didn't help her create it.
For those of you who submit feedback and attempt to communicate to developers and have gone through the frustration in which that effort entails, I am very grateful and thank you. You're not just advocating for yourselves, but all other individuals who have a visual impairment you might not know.
I am not a gamer. I have never really been interested in games, mainly because I just don't have the patience to play them. Would I like to see as many games made accessible as possible? You bet I would. But am I going to try and play every inaccessible game that comes in, just to give a developer--who might not even be interested--some feedback? My honest answer is, "No." And I'm okay with that.
I think that, given that there is such a broad array of iOS apps available and given that peoples' app preferences are so unique, that it is unrealistic to expect everyone to champion my cause if they don't care to--or plan to--access the app that I want to use.
Let's say that Developer ABC releases a terrific weather app that I and 100 other community members really want access to. Would I e-mail the developer and encourage others to do the same? You bet I would.
Let's now say that Developer ABC's weather app is something nobody else in the community is interested in but me. As with the hypothetical case above, I will still send the same e-mail to the developer. But am I going to expect that the rest of the community will rally around my cause on principle, even if they could care less about the weather app? No, I'm not. Not because I think people wouldn't help, but because I think expecting others to take up my cause if they are personally uninterested is unrealistic.
Vash, while I applaude your passion and enthusiasm, I see several flaws in your argument.
You repeatedly mention that few people bother to contact developers, and that if we all banded together and contacted them, we could make a difference.
How do you know what the rate of people contacting developers is? What evidence do you have to show it would make a difference to accessibility should more people contact developers than already do? It seems like your gut feeling is that this is the case, but I'd like to know if there is any evidence to support the premise. Perhaps you could contact developers and ask how many requests they get about accessibility, how it effects their work flow, and what would be best for them. Specifics go along way in motivating people to join a cause. That's why telethons set a goal.
As long as it's solely based on your gut feeling, this is a shakey foundation on which to build your further arguments. Perhaps you have data to support your position, but you either did not present it, or I missed it.
You suggest offending and overwhelming as viable, appropriate, and consequently successful methods for promoting the goal of accessibility. My gut feeling is that quality of contact beats quantity, and that one catches more flies with honey than vinegar. I'm certain we can find anecdotes to show how organized group contact made a difference. However, we can also find many where it made not an iota of difference. It seems that some developers "get it right away, some get it after being shown the light, " and some never will.
Further, I must rebut your ascertions about the blind community. I neither represent anyone other than myself, nor am I represented by anyone else, no matter what we have in common., I am no more a representative example of people with visual impairments, as I am of people who wear red shirts.
Please don't infer I suggest you lose your passion for this. It is important to contact developers about apps, just as it is important to advocate for other accessibility issues. However, expecting others to join in on every avenue of protest is likely to leave you disillusioned with humanity. Some people will never contact anyone. Some will contact developers of apps they wish to use, or use more efficiently, and some will join in on every petition and campaign that passes in front of them. To assume all developers or even a preponderance of them, will make their apps accessible if only all users, or a preponderance of them, request it is unrealistic. I'm not saying it's not worth trying. I'm saying that one must be realistic, and respect the diversity of opinions, affect, and expectations.
Keep fighting the good fight
Ah men to that . My example about the protools campaigh is a good example. I signed and wrote to avid at the time It was hard but 4 years later it is now accessibil except for some things but tha'ts what a control surface is for. it is well worth it to just write feedback let's say on behalf of x or y. Put togetehr a 15 page usability memo if you can that shows the key areas a site or app could be improved. It's hard work but worth it.
As stated, I regularly submit feedback to Apple Accessibility through their toll free phone number.
What I was told on several occasions is that les than 5% of voiceover users actually leave feedback or submit bug reports. There are something like 250,000 voiceover users in the US and 5% of them report bugs.
I don't have prooff of that and honestly have no idea how to obtain proof. However, on several occasions, when asking Apple accessibility reps why they are usually unaware of the bugs I am reporting, especially when they are reproducible on essentially any IOS device (headings bug, frame freeze bug, etc.), I was told it could be because a large enough portion of the users are not reporting the bug. As a result, the reports that are received might be lost in the shuffle of other bugs that might take priority.
So, The list of bugs that applevis has on their website regarding voiceover, the various forums created to discuss bugs (usually complained about by users) in hopes of finding a solution or work around. These are submitted by individuals who might not care because it doesn't bother them? The forums are not responded to by users expressing frustration and wishing the various bugs to be fixed?
Sometimes the bugs are fixed by apple engineers (the recent Bluetooth keyboard issue comes to mind), but mainly, some of the bugs linger from IOS 5X or even earlier. As a rep told me, they cannot fix what they are not aware of and if enough people are not voicing the issues, it falls on the engineers to catch them.
Maybe the AppleVis team can confirm what I have written. Perhaps they have a greater level of access to Apple Accessibility Reps. Maybe not. I am just someone who is tired of coming to AppleVis and reading the same thing over and over again.
Now, 5% is about 14500 individuals leaving feedback to Apple regarding voiceover (or so I am told). Whether or not they leave feedback for third party developers, I cannot say. 14500 is a large number, but not compared to 250,000. And certainly, its a small drop in the bucket when compared to the thousands within the millions of IPhone users who are not visually impaired which may be leaving feedback.
I will tell you a story not related to voiceover. I use ITunes Radio. I enjoy an artist named Lindsey Stirling. She is someone who is known by her fans, but probably not by the general population (yet). When using the Radio app, The Lindsey Stirling radio station crashes after 4-6 track skips (or letting it get through 4-6 songs on its own). I am kicked back into the station list and when I double tap to start the station again, I get an error message stating that the station is temporarily unavailable.
The only way to get the station going is to delete it from the list, search and create Lindsey Stirling station again, and the same issue occurs over and over and over again..
I reported this bug repeatedly, but no fix has ever come. It could be that I am on eof the few Lindsey Stirling fans who tried to listen to her through ITunes Radio. It could be that this artist is not nearly as popular as say, Lady GAGA, and is not important enough to be fixed by Apple engineers. It could be that I am not the only one reporting this issue, but not nearly enough individuals have reported it.
Whatever the reason, the issue lingers. I am powerless to do anything about it except to keep reporting the bug after every new ios software release.
If say, a million fans called in stating, I cannot listen to the Lindsey Stirling Radio station on ITunes Radio, I think the issue might have been resolved (I like to think so), but in all honesty, Ms. Stirling is a small time musician enjoyed by a very small group of people.
The point is that I can understand that not everyone likes what I like and don't expect that from anyone. But when I use the same product as others, go through the same issues as the 250,000 other users, and have seen some of them express frustration over the continued existence of various bugs, I do have an expectation that maybe we can come together to form a larger voice on the matter. But 5% is 5% and maybe the other 95% just don't care, aren't aware, or have more pressing business; and that's ok.
Imagine what 10% or 20% could do though. Just imagine...
I am someone who needs concrete proof of stuff like this. You could say 5 percent but I want a recorded statement made by that engineer, essentially an affidavit stating as such. I'm not saying you speak a false hood, but I am someone because of my field needs concrete evidence for everything.
We dont' know if what he said was what you wanted to hear and such. it very well could have been, but I want proof that he siad as such that 5 percent have reported bugs. and maybe it's the same 5 percent, me included as I was at one time part of the developer program. so apple might be getting tired of hearing about the thigns from the same 5 percent.
The statistics you cite are very interesting. I am curious as to whether the bug-report rate is higher for non-VoiceOver users, or whether it is about the same. (Obviously, the user base would be much higher, but do the bug reports increase proportionally?)
I have absolutely no evidence to back the below hypothesis up. That said, I have a feeling that people who engage in mailing lists, online forums, etc. are more likely to make up the 5% of VoiceOver users who are said to be reporting bugs. My reasoning for thinking this is that if people are engaging in one or more online user communities, they will (1) be more likely to know how to submit reports to Apple and (2) would likely be more motivated to do so. Of course, there is no way to know how many people who report bugs also participate in an online user community. But I suspect that the numbers are higher than one might expect, and that the lower participation is likely from those VoiceOver users who just use their devices without engaging in any mailing lists or online forums.
As a college student currently preparing for a sociology (the study of groups) final, this topic (who files bug reports and who does not...and why?) is becoming increasingly interesting.
I'm just like Michael and others here, this guerilla tactic approach just doesn't work for me. When I write a developer, I'm just honest and tell them how disappointed I am that their app isn't usable to me, and I tell them about VoiceOver, explain what it is, and offer my help if they need a beta tester when accessibility is added. It shows them that I'm interested in making their app even better than it is now. Some guys like Psychic Bunny take the ball and run with it, while others simply won't add accessibility for various reasons. We can't expect every single app in the app store to be accessible with VoiceOver. That's unrealistic. But the approach I use always seems to work, just use honesty when writing to these guys and if they take you up on your offer, fantastic! You can then help an app to be even better. I've also encouraged them to have a look at Applevis, to give them the idea that blind people are really passionate about this stuff. Sometimes it helps, sometimes not.
Toonhead, Mary, Michael, I applaud your efforts. Vash, I am not agreeing is the absolutely nicest thing I can say to you. You are offensive, disrespectful, and i daresay an apology from your screen name would hurt worse then having a nail pulled out of your skull without the aid of anesthesia. In other words, you completely act like a child, demanding, stomping your feet, then belittling me for not sharing your views, when all I was saying was, I don't do it your way, here's my own. You know what, if an app gets my interest if I use it or not, I'll advocate for it's accessibility. because you are such a poor embodiment of the blindness community, I wish you a lot of heartache trying to fix accesssibility problems. why, you might ask? Simple, you can't think past the large ego you've created, to understand other's points how though they aren't on your band waggon, you can't express acceptance, tolerance, above anything else, thankfullness that anyone responded. You are really making it hard for me to not to disrespect the guidelines. No, I do not need a bunch of four letter words to tell you just exactly what Ithink of your comments. I'm sorry I ever got in this discussion in the first place, talkingto you is like banging my head against a brick wall. I agree to disagree, you'd prefer abrasions on my forehead, smattered with blod. graphic, yes, all in all to say you are a disapointment, I truly wish to never seek your assistance on a forum topic, I or you post.
P.s. If this has gone anything byeond the guide lines, I will most assuredly delete my account or not sign in again. This experience has honestly left me feeling disheartened. I try to be as helpful as I can, but this is going to far in my opinion. Editorial team I leave it up to you, if I'm asked to leave, I will.
Hmm. Maybe you should write thesis on this. Jk, maybe. But yeah I think you have a valid point on that. the people who report bugs are the people who are in my mid tech savvy and know what they are doing like myself and most of the apple vis community.
That would e something to look in to at some point.
I agree wiht the original poster tha twe all even those who don't use the apps should if we can and if we have the knoledge write a 15 page usability memo on the problems wiht the app including screenshots and links to recordings of info plus XCode logs. I'm not saying to be mean I'm saying this as this is what I did for the apple dev team and the bugs that I reported got fixed.
I think if each of us took the time to put together the usability memos along wiht the screen shots then all would be well. it's not that hard really. It just takes a lot of time, trust me. I'm working on one now.
Let's please try to keep this discussion respectful.
Dissenting opinions, expressed respectfully, are welcome on AppleVis. There are good arguments on both sides of this issue. It is only natural that people will disagree--sometimes passionately so. And disagreement is perfectly okay.
While it is certainly okay to refute an opinion with which you disagree--an open discussion is part of what makes this and any community so great--publicly wishing ill upon others in the community is, at best, unproductive.
I think this topic has probably gone on long enough.
Some people like emailing a developer explaining how they could make apps more accessible.
Some will email once and ask others to do the same.
Some will not email and hope for the best.
And you no what? These are all okay with me, I'm not going to rant over what method is better, cause there isn't' one.
If I feel an app could do with more accessibility, I'll email, if not I won't.
For example: I emailed apple disability support about itunes on windows.
I am unable to move my apps or organize them on the phone screen using the itunes program. So I emailed explaining that I use itunes a lot and a screen reader and would like it if I could move my apps around and make folders, using my Laptop or PC.
Will they get back to me? I don't know. Did I try at least? Yes. Will I be happy Weather they reply or not? Yes, because I tried.
demanding people make there apps accessible will never work.
Asking nicely might, showing them ways to do it, could, but there's no definite way of making the apps in the itunes store accessible.
I'm sorry to say, there will not come a day when all apps are accessible, that's just impossible.
There are lodes of games I'd love to play but can't, due to accessibility. Emailing the developers will not help since these games are sighted based.
Examples include: Angry birds, mind craft, spider man games bat man games, dudle jump, shooting games, fighting games, rpg's. Do you see?
We can argue the point of weather we should email app developers as much as we like, but 1. it won't get us anywhere and 2. if you want to do a sertan thing go and do it, make your point all of you, show us that emailing, not emailing, works. Because I can see both sides here.
On the one hand emailing a app developer could get you great results. On the other hand waiting around could get you great results.
It just depends on what kind of person you are.
I hope I make sense.
I just read Marries post on writing a document explainning how and why the bugs or accessibility issues are happening, and showing screen shots if we can.
I don't think I'd be able to write a fifteen page document explaining those things though.
Hmm now i think about it maybe writing to the access team again with screen shots of my problem with itunes might actually help more.
Hmm I'll try that tomorrow.
But, how do I take a screen shot and how do I know when I've taken one?
I'm using NVDA
Hit the print screen key and save the image in to paint. It's much easier to do this in osx. Cmd shifjt 3 and copy the png image from the desktop in to an email. Be sure the attachments are inline.
All I did was ask, beg, more of us to attempt to take the time to submit emails to apple accessibility and third party developers. All I did was state we should band together instead of individually tackling issues.
I just cannot comprehend why there are so many people against collaborating on issues we all present on this website anyway and going outside of it to request, I repeat REQUEST, more accessibility for something that has become so deeply integrated into our lives.
When there is a bug tied to Voiceover, it impacts all of us. When we go onto safari and try to navigate a page and are moved away from the place we want to be simply after swiping right or down by headings, it affects and frustrates all of us. When voiceover freezez because we have stumbled upon a frame, it impacts all of us. These aren't bugs that some of us have seen, they are bugs we have all gone through. What is wrong with submitting more emails and calling just to bring more attention to the bugs? I am not saying we need to spend every waking moment dedicated to these things. I am not even saying we all need to do it. I am simply saying that if more of us did, we might see more progress. MIGHT. At the very least, we can say we tried.
As far as statistics, I do not have them. I am repeating what I was told. When I call into Apple Accessibility (1-877-204-3930), the various reps I have spoken to are shocked to hear there are bugs like the ones I describe. Its every single time I call. Why do you think they react that way? They are here to help us with accessibility issues, take feedback to improve the screenreader not only on IOS, but on OSX.
Some bugs (sometimes), they are familiar with. That's because they say they get calls all the time regarding certain ones. As a result, those have mainly been fixed. The ones that linger are because either the engineers aren't aware of them, feel they aren't major because enough people haven't voiced them, etc.
What in what I have said above has been offensive? If I am told that a small minority calls in (5%) by three separate reps, I begin to believe it simply because they work at apple and might know about the statistics. Perhaps its prudent to call in and discuss what I was told with them. Is it worth becoming defensive over someone asking you guys to band together? Is it even an offense?
Honestly, How many of you on this thread have actually called into Apple accessibility? How many of you have taken the time to talk to a rep dedicated to us? I am not talking about plain 1-800-my-apple. I am talking about the number I will again post (1-877-204-3930). Be honest.
I question some of you because when I read your posts, I wonder if you are here to actually work through issues or just get frustrations off your chest. And that s totally ok. It is your right. But What will get done without effort? Just a little bit more is all I ask of you. Not to curse and say four letter words. But to come together and call, and email as you have in slightly greater numbers.
Would you believe that there are blind individuals who do not even know voiceover exists? the majority of users, blind or sighted, simply use their phones for basic things and don't care about bugs or even updating firmware. And that is completely ok as they have different needs, wants, and priorities. But each of us are on this site for the sake of increasing our level of accessibility. We each have an interest in creating a more condusive lifestyle based on technology that has already changed our lives so much.
What else can I say? If I were speaking, my throat would be parched. Maybe its just not the time to request this. The request is out there. You can do what you like. I will continue to try to advocate for myself and you to the best of my ability.
Michael, as I know you're a member of the editorial team, if I've been disrespectful in any way I would like to apologize. Ok I make spelling mistakes, but I think I hit below the belt in a few of my scenarios with the last comment. If it was aimed at me, which I don't think so, I want to be the bigger person, and apologize. It's the sanctomonious tone of the origional poster I'd like to ahem... I thank apple vis and all their hard work. Would i like an apology to the post, yes, just as in an I cam eof to strong I'm sorry. I think the poster does not have the capability to do this. I do, as in, the last sentence, I'm sorry. Is it rude, yes I'm sorry but I as the writer of the post can not find a better way to describe the post. thank you for not kicking me out and treating my posts as posts not, oh she's nuts. :) I try to be fair but I'm sorry this gentelman if he is, no I'm not being a jerk, I don't know gender, could say hey I'm sorry I didn't see your view, I truthfully would feel much beeter. As it is, I feel targeted, unappreciated, not wanted. My opinions only.
I tend to write and speak a lot. For that, I do apologize. I could be more concise when it comes to my thoughts.
But Thank you for the effort in taking the screenshots. Please, don't write 15 page documents. A simple paragragh explaining what you are going through is all I think anyone needs when it comes to requesting more accessibility. Again, I am just suggesting that more of us do it as a group instead of individually.
I have no idea why you have made this about you. But I have no interest in you other than to encourage you to submit feedback when it suits you. Thank you for your efforts.
While this might be a little unconventional, if you find a problem easier to demonstrate in an audio recording, one could always submit that along with a written report. I've had to send in audio recordings at times, as there are some issues that are a lot easier to demonstrate than they are to explain in writing.
That is a wonderful idea. I have never actually tried that. I think I would like to though
I agree that the statistic needs to be verified. For all we know, 95% are sending feedback. But I am just stating what I was told. They were conversations because I was extremely frustrated with calling in, and the various reps not even being familiar with the bugs we regularly discuss here.
I don't feel very comfortable stating exactly what I do because I do not wish to disclose anything which might put me or anyone I know in danger. However, I have been employed in the mental health field in a very large city within the USA. I am also a post graduate student seeking further education. As I will be moving to a different part of the country within the next few months, I will be attending school for post graduate studies.
I have worked with various groups of people and advocacy has been a major part of my work. In my experience, certain things are better accomplished through a larger group of people working together. Smaller groups or individuals do indeed have the ability to accomplish a great deal. However, their progress is sometimes slowed by the difficulty of not having the support of peers or allies. It is possible (everything and anything is possible), but it is more difficult.
PS: sometimes you need to annoy people. They say it doesn't matter how you make progress as long as you do. Annoying them isn't a bad thing if it brings attention to something that is important to a group . Why do you think people protest?
I understand what you're saying and don't disagree with it at all.
I have one question though, is there an accessibility number for the UK, I'll look but i was just wondering if you knew if there was one.
As for screen shots, why save them in paint? wouldn't it be easier just to take the screen shot, and paste it into word or what ever program you use?
The audio is a great idea and I might actually end up doing that.
If i get a response to my email that is, if not then I'm not sure sending another would help.
The reason to save the file as png is so you can inline attach it like I do in mail. the user can see the attachment inline and know waht it shows. I do this all the time wiht my site I write for and the guides I post. and believe me they help.
If you do not get another email send one in a week. they say percistence pays off so keep sending the emails and recordings and screen casts even on youtube and make the links private at first.
He's a developer, and so I thought his opinion would be interesting. So, I told him about the discussion on here, and he said that getting tons of emails about making his app accessible would make him want to do it less. He posed two suggestions which I thought were good alternatives to flooding a developer's inbox--no matter how nicely--with lots of emails about accessibility. The first was to find the developer's website and create a new topic on their forum--apparently, forums are common enough. Anyhow, then have people chip in with their accessibility requests by posting comments to the same topic--the more comments, the higher the priority to the developer; they'll see that it's important to a large number of their user-base and take steps to implement things. That's the theory, anyhow. We all know of developers who didn't care a bit about making their app accessible. That's a minority of developers, however. His second suggestion was to create an on-line petition, and then have lots of people sign it. Then, in one email, explain that you have made this petition, and that, as they can see, from the number of signatures, a lot of people would really appreciate it if the developer could please take the time to make the app accessible.
These two suggestions allow for less numbers of people to email the developer--it doesn't even have to be more than one--in fact, it probably shouldn't be; all the work has already been done by posting comments to the forum or getting signatures on the petition. This way, the developer isn't annoyed/overwhelmed with a lot of requests for accessibility in their inbox. Also, the data is a lot more trackable. Well, maybe. That depends on if the forum or petition counts comments/signatures. In any case, developers aren't having their inboxes flooded, however politely--and we still get to ask for what we like--also politely.
I've always felt that "banding together," as vash puts it, and sending a ton of emails to a developer for something was a bit much. I sure wouldn't want my inbox stuffed.
I think my brother-in-law's suggestions have a lot of merit.
Although I could not find a UK based number either online or by calling apple accessibility, I have two separate suggestions.
1. Calling the uk based apple support and requesting to be transferred directly to Apple accessibility. They should have no issue in transferring you to the 18772043930 number and you will not be charged whatsoever.
2. Using an accessible app or program like Skype. Skype is completely free when calling toll free numbers. (1800,1888,1877,1866, etc.) You do not have to purchase anything at all to call a toll free number. Apple Accessibility is meant to help voiceover users all over the world and you do not have to pay anything extra just like you don't pay extra to use voiceover.
I apologize for not being able to find a more direct uk number for you. I tried for quite some time. However, please feel free to use any of the suggestions above or ask me again and I will do anything I can to be helpful.
When I called Apple Accessibility to find a UK accessibility number, I also had a conversation with the rep. Although I cannot provide his contact information (didn't ask.), this is what he told me:
Truthfully, we have a job because of you guys. Not calling or emailing would be pretty unproductive for everyone. In essence, if you are going through a bug, issue, or etc., call, email, both and we will work with you. If it is a reproducible bug that cannot be fixed on our end, we always record it and send it up the chain. The more people that report the bug, the more visible it becomes and the more likely we are to patch it.
A good example is when IOS 7 came out. A lot of people called in about a touch sensitivity bug. Because we had a large backlog and noted every call, we were able to send it up to engineers and they were able to patch it within 1 or 2 IOS 7 updates. Another instance of good communication and resolution was an issue with motion blurring. A good number of people called in, explained how the issue impacted their ability to use IOS, and it was resolved by IOS 7.0.3.
The rep clearly stated that everyone that calls is noted and their issues are noted. He also stated:
If its a bug, we would never become annoyed by anyone calling in to report it. If it exists, of course we want to hear about it if only to be able to note it so that the engineers can take a longer look at it. The more people that do this, the better it will be for everyone because you are giving us work, and we are striving to improve our product.
Shersey, Thank you for talking to your family member. I believe that feedback like that is beneficial to everyone. The suggestions made are also very helpful and I personally will endeavor to utilize the forums and discussion boards.
I have a friend who has dabbled in IOS app development. When he met me, he had never been around a visually impaired person. He stated that he never considered that there would be individuals outside the general population which might wish to use his apps. As a result, he made it a point to search out methods and tools to make his apps accessible not only to me, but others who might be using voiceover. He also stated that if I found a bug, it was important to let him know because not doing so will let him assume everything is ok.
Interestingly, a lot of people have a lot of different views. That doesn't make anyone wrong in any way. It just shows that we all may have different things to consider. The fact that we can talk to Apple directly about our issues is a great thing. Similarly, we will get responsive devs, not so responsive devs, and devs who never had an idea to even think about accessibility.
Its all relative to what we want to get out of the things we use. I am so glad that there is a discussion regarding this matter and that so many great suggestions have been made by everyone.
I agree; if we flood their inboxes, it will most probably have a negative affect. You have to find a happy medium.