Group Project (Sep. 2021 - Dec. 2021)

Assistive Technology Design:
Android Accessibility Guide

 

Overview

Client: BCH ACP (Boston Children’s Hospital Augmentative Communication Program)

Problem: Currently, BCH ACP does not have an Accessibility guide for clients who are Android device users. (Guides for Apple Accessibility features have been provided.) Although Android Accessibility Help is comprehensive, our client would like a more straightforward and user-friendly guide. 

Solution: We decided to create a guidebook of Android Accessibility features as an Assistive Technology (AT), which consists of an inventory of video tutorials for setting up and using most accessibility features currently available on Android devices.

Team Members

End User

Clients at BCH ACP

AT Deisgn Team

Xiang Li (HFE)

Catie Silvestri (OT)

Guides

Community Partner

Ryan DeRoche

BCH Representatives 

Jen Buxton (OTR)

Loren McMahon (OTR)

Feedback from Users

Feedback from OTRs

Design based on Research

Final Output

AT Assessment

Content

End Users will receive the info from the BCH ACP clinic. Therefore, a link or physical document with a QR code can help. End users also would use the information as needed to access their Android devices in their everyday places (community, home, school, work, etc).

Supports

The support that end users receive can vary greatly depending on their circumstances, just as their skills and needs do, the common supports are from Family, Community, Friends/Social Support School/Work.

Skills

BCH ACP works with clients who are non-speaking or whose speech is severely impaired. The patients range in age from young babies to adults, from the US to the rest of the world. They may need support with the following:

  • Speech skills

  • Language skills

  • Physical access

  • Vision, hearing, and other sensory needs

  • Literacy skills

  • Cognition

  • Seating and positioning

  • Environmental adaptations

User Research 

We interviewed Ryan DeRoche, an Android Accessibility user, to get opinions from actual end users. Considering the skills and impairments of our interviewee, we used email to conduct the interview, and the following are excerpts:

What (if any) Android accessibility features do you use most often?

“Google talk to text feature. Assistant menu button.”

 

Which (if any) features have you used in the past but no longer use?

“Haptic feedback. Now it irritates my nerve pain in the tips of my fingers.”

 

Which (if any) features would you like to see changed/improved? In what ways would you like these features to be different?

“Talk to Text. (More than 75% of the time).

- Provide voice commands for: "press enter" to move to the next line, "delete that" to delete the word that you just wrote, and "correct that" that the program would select the last word that was written and give you options that are similar to that word, and "up arrow" "down arrow" etc so that you can navigate the text that you were writing to make corrections or add words.

- Also on the screen for talk to text it would be nice to have these particular buttons: backspace, Space bar, enter, caplock's. Sometimes it's just easier to use the buttons.”

 

Are there any features that are not currently available that you think would benefit you as an Android user?

“Voice recognition passcode.

*Make sure that you have captions.

(Although we were not able to redesign some features, I still think it's good to document their needs.)

Tools

Hardware

The guides are established based on the Android Pixel Phone and Ablenet Blue2 Bluetooth Switch and we tried to include as many features as possible.

Software 

In addition to basic documenting and video editing applications, we also used the text-to-speech feature for a natural and unbiased off-panel voice.

Information Input

For a comprehensive final result, we synthesized information from a variety of sources, including Android Accessibility Help, Android Accessibility Tutorial, Apple Accessibility Tutorial, as well as Google Play Store.

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1st Version

We presented the first version of our videos to BCH representatives and received a lot of constructive comments. They suggested providing shorter clips along with the full vision to help users navigate and find the features they are looking for. Additionally, they advised us to better organize the project files for the sake of collaboration and sustainability, especially after software iterations. We also corrected some typos and practiced more on our video editing skills.

Final Outcomes

Guidebook 

We provide a virtual guidebook with links to video tutorials organized by type of support (i.e., vision supports, switch access, auditory supports, etc.). This enables users to find the features they are looking for more easily and don't have to click through the video folders one by one. 

 

We also create both a physical document with QR code to give to clients at clinic and link to access videos

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Video Tutorials

We uploaded all the video tutorials to Google drive and shared the access with everyone. These videos with voice-over, captions, and annotations will explain setting up and using most accessibility features currently available on Android devices. The videos at the top of this page are three of them (about how to use the switch).

 

Check our drive for more videos: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1emXiBU1mp3FFigUvVVSCR0z6CDIjA2fg/view?usp=sharing

Project Files 

We also shared our project files with the BCH staff, who thanked us and told us they would do their best to maintain them. :)

This is all about the Android Accessibility Guide project, now you can