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README.md

@nota/nativescript-accessibility-ext

Nativescript plugin for enabling accessibility features

Reasoning behind this plugin:

NativeScript is a framework for developing cross-platform mobile applications.

NativeScript's support for platform specific accessibility features is very limited, as it only implements those that can be abstracted for both platforms. So you have to enable these features in JavaScript-code rather than in the template.

The goal of this plugin is to expose all platform-specific accessibility features for both Android and iOS through component properties.

It's heavily inspired by React-Native's accessibility API: https://facebook.github.io/react-native/docs/accessibility.html

But is written from scratch, extending NativeScript's classes.

API:

Extends tns-core-modules/ui/core/view with these attributes and functions.

Attributes and functions for both iOS and Android

Attribute: View.accessible (iOS, Android)

If true the element is an accessibility element and all the children will be treated as a single selectable component.

CSS-property: a11y-enabled = true / false

Attribute: View.accessibilityLabel (iOS, Android)

Set the accessibility label on the element, this will be read by the screen reader in-place in any 'text' value the element has. Important note: NativeScript provides the property automationText, this sets both accessibilityLabel AND accessibilityIdentifier on iOS which can break automated tests. If you use accessibilityLabel from this plugin, DO NOT use automationText at the same time.

Attribute: View.accessibilityValue (iOS, Android)

Define the value of an accessibility element.

This is to give the user more information about the value of a field. For instance a Slider would normally have a value between 0-100%, but if the Slider represents time, you can give the user better information about the value.

Attribute: View.accessibilityHint (iOS, Android)

Describes the result of performing an action on the view.

Should only be provided if the result isn't obvious from the label.

Attribute: View.accessibilityIdentifier (iOS, Android)

Set the elements unique accessibilityIdentifier. Important note: NativeScript provides the property automationText, this sets both accessibilityLabel AND accessibilityIdentifier on iOS which can break automated tests. If you use this plugin, DO NOT use automationText at the same time.

Attribute: View.accessibilityHidden (iOS, Android)

Indicating whether the accessibility elements contained within this accessibility element are hidden.

Defaults to false.

CSS-property: a11y-hidden = true / false

Attribute: View.accessibilityRole (iOS, Android)

Defines the type of accessibility element, for example if something is a button. This isn't needed for Nativescript Buttons, but used to make other elements behave like buttons.

value Description
none No traits
button Acts like a button
link Acts like a link (iOS-only)
search Acts like a search field
image An image
image_button Acts a button with an image
keyboard_key behaves as a keyboard key
text_field The element should be treated as static text that cannot change.
adjustable The element allows continuous adjustment through a range of values.
summery The element provides summary information when the application starts. (iOS-only)
header Header element
checkbox Acts as a checkbox, to be used with accessibilityState = checked / unchecked
progress_bar Acts a progress bar. Note: Android doesn't give value information
radiobutton Acts as a radiobutton, to be used with accessibilityState = checked / unchecked
switch Acts as a Switch, to be used with accessibilityState = checked / unchecked

CSS-property: a11y-role = value

Attribute: View.accessibilityState (iOS, Android)

Set the state of the element. Should be used with accessibilityRole.

value Description
selected Is this element currently selected?
checked Is the checkbox / radiobutton / switch checked?
unchecked Is the checkbox / radiobutton / switch unchecked?
disabled Is this element currently disabled?

CSS-property: a11y-state = value

Attribute: View.accessibilityLiveRegion (iOS, Android)

When components dynamically change, we want TalkBack to alert the end user.

value Description
none Accessibility services should not announce changes to this view.
polite Accessibility services should announce changes to this view.
assertive Accessibility services should interrupt ongoing speech to immediately announce changes to this view.

Note for iOS:

polite and assertive is treated as accessibilityTraits.frequentUpdates

CSS-property: a11y-live-region = value

Function: View.accessibilityAnnouncement(msg?: string) (iOS, Android)

Make an announcement to the screen reader.

msg Description
announcement text The text that will be read by the screen reader
null The label of the element will be read by the screen reader instead

CSS-helper classes

  • a11y-fontscale-xs-visible (iOS only - visible only when font size is extra small)

  • a11y-fontscale-xs-hidden (iOS only - hidden when font size is extra small)

  • a11y-fontscale-m-visible (visible only when font size is medium)

  • a11y-fontscale-m-hidden (hidden when font size is medium)

  • a11y-fontscale-xl-visible (iOS only - visible only when font size is extra large)

  • a11y-fontscale-xl-hidden (iOS only - hidden when font size is visible large)

  • a11y-service-enabled-visible (only visible when the a11y service is enabled)

  • a11y-service-enabled-hidden (hidden when the a11y service is enabled)

  • a11y-service-disabled-visible (only visible when the a11y service is disabled)

  • a11y-service-disabled-hidden (hidden when the a11y service is disabled)

Note:

Android auto scale fonts on Label out of the box. But iOS does not.

To enabled support on iOS, you need to combine @nativescript/theme with our theme extension.

Added to root-view and modal-views

These CSS helpers are added to the root-view and modal-views.

The number indicated pct font scale:

  • a11y-fontscale-50 (iOS only - extra small font size)
  • a11y-fontscale-70 (iOS only - extra small font size)
  • a11y-fontscale-85
  • a11y-fontscale-100
  • a11y-fontscale-115
  • a11y-fontscale-130
  • a11y-fontscale-150 (iOS only)
  • a11y-fontscale-200 (iOS only - extra large font size)
  • a11y-fontscale-250 (iOS only - extra large font size)
  • a11y-fontscale-300 (iOS only - extra large font size)
  • a11y-fontscale-350 (iOS only - extra large font size)
  • a11y-fontscale-400 (iOS only - extra large font size)

Is fontscaled to extra small, medium or extra large:

  • a11y-fontscale-xs (iOS only - for extra small font size e.g < 85%)
  • a11y-fontscale-m (Medium font size >=85% and <=150%)
  • a11y-fontscale-xl (iOS only - for extra large font size e.g >150%)

Is TalkBack/VoiceOver enabled:*

  • a11y-service-enabled (is VoiceOver/TalkBack enabled)
  • a11y-service-disabled (is VoiceOver/TalkBack disabled)

To use the theme extension:

To use it all you need to do is add this to your app.scss / app.css:

@import '~@nativescript/theme/core.compat';
@import '~@nativescript/theme/scss/index';
@import url('~@nota/nativescript-accessibility-ext/a11y.css'); // <-- add this line

For compat mode:

@import '~@nativescript/theme/core.compat';
@import '~@nativescript/theme/scss/index';
@import url('~@nota/nativescript-accessibility-ext/a11y.compat.css'); // <-- add this line

For more see FontScale.md.

Attributes and functions for iOS-only

Reading https://nshipster.com/uiaccessibility/ is recommended.

Attribute: View.accessibilityTraits (iOS)

Set one or more traits that best fits the element. Comma or space separated list of traits.

key Description
none Used when the element has no traits.
button Used when the element should be treated as a button.
link Used when the element should be treated as a link.
header Used when an element acts as a header for a content section (e.g. the title of a navigation bar).
search Used when the text field element should also be treated as a search field.
image Used when the element should be treated as an image. Can be combined with button or link, for example.
selected Used when the element is selected. For example, a selected row in a table or a selected button within a segmented control.
plays Used when the element plays its own sound when activated.
key Used when the element acts as a keyboard key.
text Used when the element should be treated as static text that cannot change.
summary Used when an element can be used to provide a quick summary of current conditions in the app when the app first launches. For example, when Weather first launches, the element with today's weather conditions is marked with this trait.
disabled Used when the control is not enabled and does not respond to user input. (You should also set isEnabled="false" on the element)
frequentUpdates Used when the element frequently updates its label or value, but too often to send notifications. Allows an accessibility client to poll for changes. A stopwatch would be an example.
startsMedia Used when activating an element starts a media session (e.g. playing a movie, recording audio) that should not be interrupted by output from an assistive technology, like VoiceOver.
adjustable Used when an element can be "adjusted" (e.g. a slider).
allowsDirectInteraction Used when an element allows direct touch interaction for VoiceOver users (for example, a view representing a piano keyboard).
pageTurn Informs VoiceOver that it should scroll to the next page when it finishes reading the contents of the element.

Function: View.iosPostAccessibilityNotification(notificationType: string, arg?: string | null) (iOS)

Post an accessibility notification to iOS.

Please note: These are exposed as is and most of them haven't been tested.

el.iosPostAccessibilityNotification(notificationType, arg);
notificationType Description
screen Notify iOS that the screen have changed
layout Notify iOS that the layout have changed
announcement Make an announcement to the screen reader (Please use: view.accessibilityAnnouncement(msg) for both platforms)
arg Description
text notificationType = 'announcement': Announcement text to be read
null notificationType = 'layout': do nothing. notificationType = 'screen': auto selects, the first accessible element within this element will be given accessibility focus

Attribute: Label.accessibilityAdjustsFontSize (iOS) DEPRECATED - use the theme instead.

Scales the font on a Label on iOS according to the settings in Settings -> General -> Accessibility -> Larger text On Android this is handled automatically, on iOS you have to specify it yourself. Note: It's similar to UILabel.adjustsFontForContentSizeCategory but affects all fonts not just the preferredFonts. Note: Font Scale between 50% and 400%. 200% -> 400% are extra large accessibility font scaling

Attribute: Slider.accessibilityStep (iOS)

Change the increment/decrement step size for the swipe up / down gesture.

Default step size is 10

Attributes and functions for Android-only

Function: View.androidSendAccessibilityEvent(eventName: string, msg?: text) (Android)

Trigger an accessibility event on Android.

Please note: These are exposed as is and most of them haven't been tested.

el.androidSendAccessibilityEvent(eventName, msg);
eventName Description
invalid_position Invalid selection/focus position
max_text_length Maximum length of the text fields
view_clicked Represents the event of clicking on a android.view.View like android.widget.Button, android.widget.CompoundButton, etc
view_long_clicked Represents the event of long clicking on a android.view.View like android.widget.Button, android.widget.CompoundButton, etc
view_selected Represents the event of selecting an item usually in the context of an android.widget.AdapterView
view_focused Represents the event of setting input focus of a android.view.View
view_text_changed Represents the event of changing the text of an android.widget.EditText
window_state_changed Represents the event of opening a android.widget.PopupWindow, android.view.Menu, android.app.Dialog, etc
notification_state_changed Represents the event showing a android.app.Notification
view_hover_enter Represents the event of a hover enter over a android.view.View
view_hover_exit Represents the event of a hover exit over a android.view.View
touch_exploration_gesture_start Represents the event of starting a touch exploration gesture
touch_exploration_gesture_end Represents the event of ending a touch exploration gesture
window_content_changed Represents the event of changing the content of a window and more specifically the sub-tree rooted at the event's source
view_scrolled Represents the event of scrolling a view
view_text_selection_changed Represents the event of changing the selection in an android.widget.EditText
announcement Represents the event of an application making an announcement
view_accessibility_focused Represents the event of gaining accessibility focus
view_accessibility_focus_cleared Represents the event of clearing accessibility focus
view_text_traversed_at_movement_granularity Represents the event of traversing the text of a view at a given movement granularity
gesture_detection_start Represents the event of beginning gesture detection.
gesture_detection_end Represents the event of ending gesture detection
touch_interaction_start Represents the event of the user starting to touch the screen
touch_interaction_end Represents the event of the user ending to touch the screen
all Mask for AccessibilityEvent all types

msg is an optional argument only used for announcement. If not provided with announcement the elements automationText value will be announced instead.

The following are not implemented (yet)

  • onAccessibilityTap (iOS)
  • onMagicTap (iOS)

Global events

Each built-in nativescript View-class is extended with global-events.

Note: This conflicts with nativescript-globalevents-plugin. If you for some reason need to load both modules, you need to import nativescript-globalevents before @nota/nativescript-accessibility-ext.

Adding a global-event

This event is added to every view-type.

View.on(View.loadedEvent, (evt) => {
  const view = evt.object;
  // Do stuff.
});

This event is aded to all Labels

Label.on(View.loadedEvent, (evt) => {
  const label = evt.object;
  // Do stuff.
});

Removing a global-event

Remove all global loaded events from the View-class.

View.off(View.loadedEvent);

Remove a single global loaded event from the View-class.

View.off(View.loadedEvent, callbackReference);

Helpers:

FontScaleObservable

NativeScript Observable for getting the native fontScale on either platform.

Note: Android: Font scale between 0.85 and 1.3 (85% -> 130%) iOS: Font scale between 50% and 400%. 200% -> 400% are extra large accessibility font

Installation

To use the plugin in your NativeScript-app, install and import the module:

npm i --save @nota/nativescript-accessibility-ext

Special for Android

We support Android 19 and up, but the compileSdkVersion needs to be at least 29.

Edit your App_Resources/Android/app.gradle:

android {
  defaultConfig {
    minSdkVersion = 19 // <-- change this line
    compileSdkVersion = 29 // <-- change this line, if it exists.
    generatedDensities = []
  }
  aaptOptions {
    additionalParameters "--no-version-vectors"
  }
}

For NativeScript Core

Change to your app.ts/app.js

import * as app from 'tns-core-modules/application';
import '@nota/nativescript-accessibility-ext'; /// <-- Add this line

app.run({ moduleName: 'app-root' });

For nativescript-angular

Change to your app.module.ts

import { NgModule, NO_ERRORS_SCHEMA } from "@angular/core";
import { NativeScriptModule } from "nativescript-angular/nativescript.module";
import { NotaAccessibilityExtModule } from '@nota/nativescript-accessibility-ext/angular'; /// <-- Add this line

/// ... stuff

@NgModule({
    bootstrap: [
        AppComponent
    ],
    imports: [
        NativeScriptModule,
        AppRoutingModule,
        NotaAccessibilityExtModule, /// <-- Add this line
    ],
    declarations: [
        AppComponent,
        ItemsComponent,
        ItemDetailComponent
    ],
    providers: [],
    schemas: [
        NO_ERRORS_SCHEMA
    ]
})
export class AppModule { }

For more see Angular.

For NativeScript Vue

Change to your app.js:

import Vue from "nativescript-vue";
import '@nota/nativescript-accessibility-ext'; /// <-- Add this line

....
import '@nota/nativescript-accessibility-ext';

Start adding the new properties to your templates:

<StackLayout
  accessible="true"
  automationText="This now a button"
  accessibilityComponentType="button"
  accessibilityTraits="button"
>
  <Label text="First button" (tap)="tapped($event)"></Label>
</StackLayout>

About Nota

Nota is the Danish Library and Expertise Center for people with print disabilities.

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Our purpose is to ensure equal access to knowledge, community participation and experiences for people who're unable to read ordinary printed text.

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