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Custgm Rom for truely accessible Android.

Discussion in 'Android Hacks and Help' started by moagm316, May 8, 2010.

  1. moagm316
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    moagm316 New Member

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    I was wondering if anyone has come up with a truly accessible Droid rom. I am visually impaired and have simple requests when it comes to accessibility. I absolutely love the TTS engine that has been developed for the Droid, but am extremely angry that the only choice that I have for any true font customization is a BlackBerry. This seems like an extremely basic request and it seems that it keeps on getting skipped over and over again. I have tried the Apple product and OOOOOOO it has a zoom feature. I have also tried the Ipad and it also has the same OOOOOOO zoom feature. I am a business person who needs to get things done and has very little patience for afterthoughts like the Zoom feature. I am truly sick and tired of being treated like a second class citizen by developers. I would gladly pay for text enlargement functionality, but it seems like a very basic feature. One other alternative is a scalable UI so that I could change the resolution. Does anyone have any help for those like myself?
  2. titans
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    titans Premium Member Premium Member

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    I believe that changing the font size is something that you will have to ask a developer (one of our hacking community ones)...I don't think this topic has come up yet, so I don't think anyone has an answer until they search for what controls the font size (might be as simple as the font packages, probably not though)
  3. borgey401
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    borgey401 New Member

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    your rooted correct?
  4. moagm316
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    moagm316 New Member

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    Well lets fix this thing and finally get things right. I know tons of Blind and Low vision consumers ready and waiting for something that does not suck.
  5. parabola
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    parabola New Member

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    One thing i would recommend, is not being angry / rude to the devs that would help, you have to realize 99% of us dont need this feature, and you cannot be offended that it wasnt already added.
  6. moagm316
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    moagm316 New Member

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    Please do not patronize me. Have you read other forums and even those on google? There are hundreds if not thousands of post out there pleading with them to add this very basic feature. You are not understanding that it is not just Blind people that need this feature. Anyone over forty would appreciate such a feature. They are not just keeping out the disabled but an entire segement of the population to market to.
  7. gonnadie4thegov
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    gonnadie4thegov New Member

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    Um i think the majority of the droid market is under 40

    Its not a simple few clicks and its done, something like that would take time if it even could be done, there is only certain space allowed for text, but you wanna make the text bigger but the size for the text might not be changed.

    The home screen has icons and in apps that are text heavy you can zoom. Like wtf is the problem? My dad is 55 and basically blind without his glasses but when i visit them he loves to play with my droid and has no problems

    And lastly as it was said attitude. If you keep demanding and saying all these people want it then chances are the devs arn't going to care, maybe ask nicely and one will work on something. And just cause you are willing to pay for the app doesn't mean anything to them. If they even charged it would have to be less then $5 or else im sure you would fully complain and so the dev sells a few copys and makes 20 bucks, is that worth it to make someone like you happy?

    Take a step back and think before you talk. Or just dont talk at all :)

    Edit: And i just googled "droid large text" to see all your results, 2 results popped up about large font, one from oct 09 before the droid ever released and the other is from 2 days after release. I'm on basically all droid forums daily and seen one other thread, that was prob yours, complaining about wanting the large font
    Last edited: May 14, 2010
  8. bamfsig45
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    bamfsig45 New Member

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    Would it be easier to have an app that followed your finger on the touch screen and magnified what ever was under it as you moved your finger along? Or it this the same "zoom" feature youre complaining about in the Iphone?
  9. moagm316
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    moagm316 New Member

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    This is the feature that I am annoyed with. As far as the previous posters rude reply. The market will pay what the market will bare. You could charge twenty times what you were suggesting for an app that made the phone truely accessable. I am talking about a very simple thing. the abilibty to change the size of text is a feature an %99 of fully featured programming languages today. I am not neccecarily annoyed at Devs I am annoyed at GOOGLE for not putting sich a basic feature in their basic OS. You have been able to change the font size or screen resolution in operating systems since windows 3.1. The argument that "It may not be possible." does not hold water. These smart pones have more power behind them than many computers did afew years ago. I am just as annoyed with APPLE with their IPHONE OS as well. They don't consult with the disability community when they develop products. I and many other Blind/Low vision consumers would pay for such features and have a trackrecord of doing so.
  10. moagm316
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    moagm316 New Member

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    I thank you very much for your suggestion. One other issue that I have is that Verizon has the accessability features locked out on the phones that they offer. What is it going to take for low vision users to be treated like any other customer. Do was have to initiate a lawsuit to get equal treatment and service from software manufacturers?
  11. borgey401
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    borgey401 New Member

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    i personally think your bringing it a little too far. a lawsuit, under what grounds would that hold? to be completely honest i don't think any lawyer would even waste their time with that. i'm not being ignorant so don't get my point twisted. i can understand why your upset but not to this level. what exactly do you want here?
  12. moagm316
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    moagm316 New Member

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    Check out NFB V. AOL. AOL got sued because their web browser / software was not accessible to the visually impaired. I am not saying that this is the best way to get things done, but it seems to me that if companies like APPLE and GOOGLE are going to keep features out of their phones that restrict who can use them. In the case of AOL it was a simple change that they refused to implement for some arcane reason like "The majority of our users don't need screen readers or text enlargement." You guys are coming up with some very lame reasons for them to not put it in when I am saying that it is a feature that you should be upset that is not in there. Isn't the strength of the DROID platform supposed to be the fact that it is customizable? For that matter can someone give me a slice of code that will enable me to choose the size of my text? I understand that there is the application called Toolbox or something that will enlarge the text, but if you reboot your phone the phone goes back to the previous text size. This seems like something that should be saved in some sort of config file.
  13. ravage382
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    ravage382 New Member

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    "I thank you very much for your suggestion. One other issue that I have is that Verizon has the accessability features locked out on the phones that they offer. What is it going to take for low vision users to be treated like any other customer. Do was have to initiate a lawsuit to get equal treatment and service from software manufacturers? "

    Check out NFB V. AOL. AOL got sued because their web browser / software was not accessible to the visually impaired. I am not saying that this is the best way to get things done, but it seems to me that if companies like APPLE and GOOGLE are going to keep features out of their phones that restrict who can use them. In the case of AOL it was a simple change that they refused to implement for some arcane reason like "The majority of our users don't need screen readers or text enlargement." You guys are coming up with some very lame reasons for them to not put it in when I am saying that it is a feature that you should be upset that is not in there. Isn't the strength of the DROID platform supposed to be the fact that it is customizable? For that matter can someone give me a slice of code that will enable me to choose the size of my text? I understand that there is the application called Toolbox or something that will enlarge the text, but if you reboot your phone the phone goes back to the previous text size. This seems like something that should be saved in some sort of config file.[/QUOTE]

    Let me get this correctly. You purchased a phone that was not advertised as being accessible to the visually impaired and its their fault?
    I know for a fact that there are many product that are sold that are not tailored to your condition. Any box of Kraft mac and cheese should tell you this. There is no large font on the box. You need to shop around for something that meets your needs, not threaten all those that don't. Speak with your pocketbook, not a lawyer.
    Perhaps an android phone is not for you.
  14. LrdElderon
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    LrdElderon New Member

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    Ok I had a post, deleted post, had another, deleted, but I just have to post... lol

    You have several routes to take to solve this. Firstly I do not think this is in any way shape or form a fault of google. I think if you wanted to play the lawsuit club game your better off swinging at the carriers and phone manufacturers as they would be the most likely to do these sorts of adaptations based on the hardware for the phone. Though really threatening people with lawsuits is not a very good thing and just makes people look down on or afraid to work with those with disabilities for fear of legal repercussions.

    You could talk with disability lobby groups and see if they can get manufacturers to add an optional update to add these things, or better yet they should have the money to hire coders to make a patch for a rom on their own.

    Really though your best best and the fastest really would be to find a freelance programmer or rom developer, ask them politely if they would be interested, give them exact requirements... be very specific. don't just tell them something like "I want it to be more accessible", or "I want it bigger". How do you want this software to work, what settings....? Having this down will pretty much take care of half the battle. Then open the wallet or checkbook. You may luck out and find a nice person, but programming is a skill just like any other and people will want incentive to use their time on you.

    Really I can see lots of ways you could do this and it probably wouldn't really be very hard depending on what visual options you want? contrast? size? (but that is in the requirements I suppose).

    You could also look into what various linux distros use for accessibility and see if anything they use can be compiled to work on android.

    and the last option is as you said
    not just the droid, the android platform and yes it is very customizable. If you were willing to put in a little time and reading you could probably program what you need yourself... *shrug* Hell, I'd do it if I knew a bit more coding. I'm still reading through the books myself =)

    But I'd try a freelance coder... plus side is the code depending on how competent they are should work or be easily made to work on most android based phones so others could benefit from it too.

    just don't be so aggressive. It really puts people off.

    edit: I just poked around mine for a few minutes. I never looked before but is the accessibility option grayed out on the stock rom too? it's there but non functional on cm rom 507.1 Perhaps a module could be made to link up with that if it's not being used at all.... I should know I suppose but It's been so long since i've been on a stock rom. 2.0 at least lol.
    Last edited: May 27, 2010
  15. adrynalyne
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    adrynalyne Premium Member Premium Member Developer

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    I was going to look into this, but really, I think this is a nightmare waiting to happen, and I really don't care for the attitude of the OP. You don't come to folks for help, and then belittle or be rude to them.

    I think I will pass. My rom includes the same accessiiblity features that are included in the stock rom. Not all custom roms include them.

    @LrdElderon

    The acc. apps are not included with (any version?) CM, hence, the section is greyed out.
  16. jntdroid
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    jntdroid DF Super Moderator Premium Member

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    Bugless Beast 1.1 has the option to change font size in Spare Parts - I don't know if it's a new version of Spare Parts or just something Pete added to it for his ROM.

    edit: and I second adrynalyne's sentiments...there are better ways of going about this :icon_eek:
  17. Nerf
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    Nerf Member

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    OP's request is something that I could see being simple for the original developers to incorporate and please a large group of customers. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to be happening like that. And OP, this is *NOT* something that custom rom developer owe you, and you should be much more polite when requesting someone to go out of their way for your impairment. Just because you're ready to pay doesn't mean anyone here is your slave. At this point after your posts, you may want to look directly to Motorola, Verizon, or Google developers to make visibility more clear for your current/future products. Go with a lawsuit if you have the time and resources. Whatever it takes to be heard by "The Man." Good luck.
  18. rhitsax69
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    rhitsax69 New Member

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    Okay, I feel like I can lend some insights here and correct some bad information being put out there by our bitter friend. First, the resentment towards developers not partnering with the disabled community (specifically the blind) is false. Apple has been working extensively with the blind, especially the National Federation of the Blind (NFB), in making its products fully accessible. This is where the aforementioned Zooms and VoiceOver built-in applications have come from. The challenge here is making sure the conversation is not biased too heavily towards the totally blind as there is a very large community of low vision users. A few months ago while looking at the capabilities of these software programs on an iPad (Note: they are identical in all Apple products), it was frustrating to discover that only one or the other could be turned on at once. The Zooms program would basically do what is being requested here I feel, but I don't know how versatile or challenging it is to use on something with a display as small as a phone. As far as what people from this community are looking for, I think it's just the same as everyone else. We'd like the ability to have options when considering new technology. Specifically, I think the biggest issue we tend to have is finding something that is fully accessible right out of the box without having to invest in multiple additional add-ons. That's what seems to be so nice about the iPhone. Of course, that option is only available to those on AT&T. It seems like the Android developers are playing catchup here, but at least they are recognizing the importance to do so with some of the new accessibility options I saw on one of the Verizon HTC smartphones recently. Unfortunately, these concerns don't seem to be heard or recognized by developers during design and coding. It seems like they would be best addressed during this initial stage rather than post release by third parties. It's just exhausting to continually bang the drum for accessibility and have to wait for the trickle down before we're able to enjoy many of the same things the "normal" public does from first release. I think this is where some of the bitterness comes from - it's not a right to act that way, though. I agree that discussion and collaboration is the way to go rather than anger, demanding, and threatening.
  19. klmquiroz
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    klmquiroz New Member

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    Added note to the non visually impaired community. Droids as a few"other" brands are advertised as "accessible" to the visually impaired. However their concept of accessibility and a visual impaired version of accessibility are two entirely different things.( including deals with the Federation of the Blind for purchasing and advertisement) To the gent who said it be less then a .01% of a market there is an estimated estimated 40 million blind people located around the world and another 40 million Visually impaired.

    I know with my IPhone they have Text enlarger apps that works fairly well I do not see why the same application could be designed for the ddroids also.

    When I first saw Android 1.6 (donut) long long ago,I heard about the accessibility features afforded by the text-to-speech engine made by SVOX. By default, your donut device doesn’t have the speech libraries loaded, and you have to add them yourself. Eclair-based devices such as the Motorola Droid, however, come with the speech function fully loaded and ready to rock. To turn it on, go to Menu> settings > accessibility, click on the “accessibility” checkbox, and then click on the “TalkBack” checkbox. A warning box pops up telling you that it will read things such as credit card numbers aloud and that it “may be able to collect the data you type, ” so be careful..
    When you have TalkBack turned on, all it really does is verbally tell you where you are, such as the home screen, sub-menus or URLs. It also reads pop-up messages and warnings, but that’s the limit of it.
    But I started thinking the other day that maybe TalkBack could come in handy if I could highlight text and have it read aloud, sort of like what you can do on many Kindle books, and what you can do with Speech in OS X. Since I have to edit other people’s documents for work, I’m always using speech. I even have a macro set up to highlight all text in this one field and automatically launch the voice reader. So yeah, I thought it would be cool to have TalkBack read my Google News or Techmeme headlines to me as I’m driving or walking the dog or something.
    Unfortunately, I haven’t found a solution that doesn’t require the installation of another application. I try to highlight and copy text with menu-e on the Droid, which then copies my selection to the clipboard. But then I have no access to the clipboard to read my selection.
    So what the hell…I downloaded Talking RSS Reader by Google Engineer Stephanie Doyon, which integrates with Google Reader. It doesn’t use the nice built-in Android reader voice, but the Linux text-to-speech voice which I now equate with the dumb smiley face on the OLPC “Speak” program. I got my niece an XO-1 for Christmas last year, and she spent quite a lot of time playing with the Speak app, making it just go “fhfhahfhfhehehehehnfmsisisisioep” and such…over and over and over.


    This is the guy I picture reading my RSS feeds in Talking RSS Reader. Or more accurately, I picture him reading every single bit of text in every article in my feed in order. When you use this app, half of the time it’s going to be saying things like “image link, image link, image link, image link, image link” and other such useless info that I don’t want to hear. It’s the worst in blogs because it reads all the usernames, link names, comments, and stuff. Talking RSS reader is free and alright, but it’s better for reading the full text of articles in sequential order rather than just reading headlines. I want something that will just speak all the headlines to me in a clear voice, and have speech recognition so I can say something like “read that one!” and it will stop its listing and drill down into the article I chose. That kind of app would be awesome for commuters, and I guess I have to continue my search.


    Talking RSS reader crashed on me quite a few times when I was playing with it, but it didn’t ever throw up an error message. The app just silently closed, which I guess is kind of less annoying, but still bad. I won’t uninstall this yet, as I intend to use it in the car, but it’s really not quite what I had in mind.




    Far as text enlarger if they cant do it internally go look into A portable, hand-held CCTV color text enlarger.




    Useful Web Sites.

    • California State University Accessible Technology Initiative.
      /divisions/students2/committees/ati/
    • The Archmedes Project.
      The Archimedes Project
      "The mission of the Archimedes Project is to help secure equality of access to information for individuals with disabilities through the development of computer technology and the promulgation of knowledge about disability to present and future designers in academia and industry." At Stanford University, with a listing of related links, information about the projects and research, and more.
    • EASI: Equal Access to Software and Information.
      http://www.rit.edu/~easi/

      Online workshops, webcasts, and listservs: "Students and professionals with disabilities must have the same access to information and resources as everyone else!" Also provides a listing of information technology and disability websites.
    • Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI).
      Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) - home page

      "The W3C's commitment to lead the Web to its full potential includes promoting a high degree of usability for people with disabilities. The Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI), in coordination with organizations around the world, is pursuing accessibility of the Web through five primary areas of work: technology, guidelines, tools, education & outreach, and research & development." :icon_ banana:dancedroid
  20. es0tericcha0s
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    es0tericcha0s Premium Member Theme Developer Premium Member

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