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Accessiblity - Play that song, The one that makes me go all night long

Posted: Sat Apr 06, 2019 10:44 am
by adams161
One group of chess players that are often ignored are the blind But they have new chances to participate with technology. On iOS there is the voice over screen reader and on android Talk Back. Yet 99% of chess boards are not accessible to the blind. I've now posted on the programmers forum now to make iOS boards accessible to the blind viewtopic.php?f=7&t=70420

I"ve been in communication with the Italian Bind Chess federation secretary, Stefano. It started with him contacting me about an issue in my OpeningTree iOS.
’m using Opening trees on my iphone (last IOS update) and I like a lot having its function on a mobile device.
But I’m totally blind and your app have some of the problems most of the chess software have, on any platform.
IOS has its own screen reader, Voiceover.
In your app I can only follow an opening line clicking on the moves, but I can’t go backward. So, to change a simple move, I have to reset the starting position. At least I can use the Action menu!
About the board sorry, voiceover doesn’t intercept anything.
My hope would be that you can have the control bar accessible. I suppose it contains more buttons than the only one I see, Makenote.
I then thought well they need a blind mode. And wrote him my design plan and he responded
think a blind mode may be enough for some kind of apps, but for others there must be a really accessible UI.
I mean, to play against an engine, or against a human on an ICS, you need to insert moves fast, and the fastest way on a mobile device is a totally accessible board. Like you said VO should read the square and its content. It also should allow you to select the starting square of a move and then the arrival square.
Nowadays I can only think two accessible boards:
On IOS one is Shredder, which some of us used to play;
a more recent one is Chess Studio by Giordano Vicoli. This is primarily a pgn db manager, but from some times it has Stockfish on board, both analyzing and playing. Its board isn’t perfect, but anyway accessible.
I have other examples of partially accessible apps or windows software.
If you are interested I may write you again to inform you about what is the whole chess situation for accessibility.
And accessible board is worth doing in either iOS or Android. I have now made all three of my iOS chess app's boards accessible to the blind with speakmove.

Re: Accessiblity - Play that song, The one that makes me go all night long

Posted: Mon May 27, 2019 10:23 am
by adams161
I have extended accessibility now with our first translation. OpeningTree is accessible in Italian ... 14935?mt=8

My blind friend convinced me it would be more accessible if the voice over was in the language of the speakers. Hoping to do Spanish. Stefano my blind friend did the translation to Italian.


Re: Accessiblity - Play that song, The one that makes me go all night long

Posted: Fri Jul 26, 2019 9:35 am
by adams161
Stefano writes me:
Hi Mike,
Here’s a draft of what I would send to the blind players, in mailing lists attended by british and irish players, indian, french, spanish and south and north american players.
And he reiterates i spread the word of accessibility on
I'm writing this email because recently I got in touch with a chess developer, Michaela Adams, from USA. I was interested in one of his apps, but its board was not accessible. He took care of the problem, and in a couple of weeks his boards and apps were accessible. He also shared the word with a chess programmers community, so that more people may know there's a problem and some solutions too.
I want to make sure i've done that so i've made this post active again. the first post has the link to making boards accessible.

I would like to later reply to this thread and share more of Stefano's story of accessibility.