Accessibility Polish

Registered by Jason Warner

Since Unity has been introduced, many strides have been made with accessibility. Unity 3D is approximately 80% accessible, so far as official oneiric packages go, and unity-2d is 99% accessible, thanks to the great work from the QT a11y folks, and the unity-2d developers. Both are likely to be 100% accessible for the LTS, which is great. However, they are not the only areas of accessibility that need improving.

I have already started making a work item list of issues to address, to give the desktop more pollish when it comes to accessibility. Such issues include:
 * Making sure all indicators have accessible descriptions/labels.
 * Making sure any icons in indicator menus that need accessible descriptions/labels have them, a prime use case is network manager, to indicate wireless network strength.
 * Further pollish on Ubiquity's accessibility, particularly selecting a timezone.
 * Connecting up the rest of the accessibility profiles in the ubiquity a11y indicator.
 * Further pollish of the unity greeter accessibility experience.
 * Make sure the accessibility experience between unity 2d and 3d is the same.

The list I have is slightly more technical and goes into more detail, but what is listed above is the gist of what I have. Whether this needs a session at UDS I don't know, but a blueprint will likely be needed for work items tracking.

Blueprint information

Martin Pitt
Luke Yelavich
Registry Administrators
Series goal:
Accepted for precise
Milestone target:
Started by
Luke Yelavich
Completed by
Martin Pitt


Work items for precise-alpha-2:
[themuso] Find and fix bugs with the indicator accessible description infrastructure: DONE
[themuso] Work with DX and the unity-2d team to make keyboard navigation in the dash consistant in both environments: DONE

Work items:
[themuso] Extend dbusmenu to allow for accessible descriptions to be given for icons in menus, network-manager being a prime usecase: DONE
[themuso] Make sure all ubiquity information text is readable with orca: DONE
[themuso] Work with Evan to try and work out a better way of selecting a timezone: POSTPONED
[themuso] Implement the rest of the accessibility profiles in the ubiquity a11y indicator: POSTPONED
[themuso] Make the ubiquity slide show readable with Orca: POSTPONED
[themuso] Work out a consistant presentation of launcher icon information, eg progress bar, etc: POSTPONED
[themuso] Work with Robert to refine the accessibility experience in the unity greeter for lightdm: DONE
[dx] Fix unity so that the eZoom plugin can magnify the launcher, dash, and panel: POSTPONED
[themuso] Work with DX and Alejandro to make sure that extra text displayed by some lenses, i.e gwibber, is accessible on the dash: POSTPONED
[themuso] Make notifications accessible again: DONE
[themuso] discuss accessible descriptions in exported menus with desrt, to ensure they get implemented right in the future upstream glib solution: DONE
[gary-lasker] Work with themuso and others to determine the list of the remaining accessibility issues that we need to fix in Ubuntu Software Center for Precise (bug 922657): DONE
[themuso] Investigate unity 2d and compiz for magnification users: DONE
[themuso] File a bug about unity 2d and text box review with orca: DONE
[alanbell] Patch gnome-control-center to enable/disable the Compiz E-Zoom plugin when magnification is enabled/disabled: TODO
[ubuntu-accessibility] Examine software centre and see where webkit is being used: TODO
[ubuntu-accessibility] Test mouse theme changes and what works etc with it: TODO
[ubuntu-accessibility] Investigate window switcher plugin options for the unity 2d compiz magnification case: TODO
[ubuntu-accessibility] Find issues that currently exist in GNOME and Orca, and file bugs upstream if not already done: TODO
[pendulum] Check with upstream about whether there are plans to re-introduce UI to change the mouse cursor theme: INPROGRESS
[alanbell] Investigate eZoom focus tracking code: TODO
[ubuntu-accessibility] Investigate improving the experience for deaf users with system bell events: TODO

Notes for testing and further discussion:
* Make sure settings are migrated as closely as possible from Lucid to Precise.
* TheMuso has some ideas for making Gwibber accessible, see if anybody wants to take that on.

See also <>.

pitti: as for the third WI: note that dbusmenu might be replaced with an upstream solution in glib, I recommend talking to desrt about this, to make sure this is done correctly right from the start. Otherwise we'll need to revisit this once again. I added a WI for this.

Notes about unity-2d and compiz:
Unity-2d works fine with Compiz, however this hasn't been implemented in 12.04 because I've had trouble getting compiz to properly load in ubiquity, so unless one can use eZoom with ubiquity, there is no other way to enable magnification as a profile for accessibility users.


Work Items

Dependency tree

* Blueprints in grey have been implemented.