• Media Type Android OS > Language and Content
  • State Active
  • Advisory No

Some elements such as buttons, text, and edit fields are accessibility enabled while others such as views and most other primitive controls are not accessibility enabled. When developers use controls or other UI elements in unusual ways this can result in exposure of elements that are covered, hidden, a duplicate or otherwise should not be visible to the user. This causes confusion for users attempting to navigate the UI of the application and may even cause input and control errors.

Compliant Example

//blue rectangle used for decoration that does not receive focus - in this case
android:focusable is false by default
<ImageView 
  android:layout_height="wrap_content" 
  android:id="@+id/image_1" 
  android:src="@drawable/blue"
  android:importantForAccessibility="no">
</ImageView>

// hide the entire view from accessibility
<RelativeLayout ...
  android:importantForAccessibility="noHideDescendants">
...
</RelativeLayout>

// Image that is not exposed to assistive technology
<ImageView 
  android:layout_height="wrap_content" 
  android:id="@+id/image_1" 
  android:src="@drawable/blue" 
  android:focusable="true"
  android:contentDescription="">
</ImageView>

Non-Compliant Example

//blue rectangle used for decoration that can receive focus
<ImageView 
  android:layout_height="wrap_content" 
  android:id="@+id/image_1" 
  android:src="@drawable/blue" 
  android:focusable="true"
  android:importantForAccessibility="yes">
</ImageView>

// Image that is exposed to assistive technology
<ImageView 
  android:layout_height="wrap_content" 
  android:id="@+id/image_1" 
  android:src="@drawable/blue" 
  android:focusable="true"
  android:contentDescription=" ">
</ImageView>

Developers should ensure that elements that do not convey meaning or information to a user are not focusable via the android:focusable property and set importantforaccessibility to no. For views that have multiple elements that should not be available to assistive technology such as content behind a menu or modal the importantforaccessibility property can be set to noHideDescendants. This will hide content from TalkBack as well as switch control.

For ImageViews, while they generally should not be visible to assistive technology unless they have contentDescription set -- it is best to explicitly set contentDescription on purely decorative ImageVeiws to contentDescription="" (null) or to set importantForAccessibility to no. Setting contentDescription to " " (a space) will cause a graphic number to be announced by TalkBack.

Organization Standards

  • Section 508 and 255 (Revised 2017)
    • Chapter 3: Functional Performance Criteria
      • 302.1 Without Vision
    • Chapter 5: Software
      • 502 Interoperability with Assistive Technology
        • 502.3.1 Object Information
  • WCAG 2.0 Level A
    • 1.1.1 Provide text alternatives for all non-text content
    • 4.1.2 Name, Role, Value
  • WCAG 2.1 Level A
    • 1.1.1 Non-text Content
    • 4.1.2 Name, Role, Value

Other Mapped Standards

  • § 508-1194.21 Software Applications and Operating Systems
    • (d) Information about a user interface element must be textually available
  • § 508-1194.21 VA Testing Checklist - Software Applications and Operating Systems
    • (d) Information about a user interface element must be textually available
      • (d.2) Are obscured layered components and content made inactive by pop up, panels, or page tabs, unavailable to assistive technologies?
  • § 508-1194.31 VA Testing Checklist - Web Functional performance criteria
    • (a) At least one mode of operation and information retrieval that does not require user vision shall be provided, or support for assistive technology used by people who are blind or visually impaired shall be provided.
      • (a.7) Is off-screen and hidden content that is not relevant to the user ignored by assistive technology?
  • § 508-1194.31 Functional performance criteria
    • (a) Ensure access for blind and visually impaired
  • 47 CFR 14. Advanced Communication Services
    • 47 CFR 14.21 Performance Objectives
      • (b) Accessible
        • (b)(1) Input, control, and mechanical functions shall be locatable, identifiable, and operable
          • (b)(1)(i) Operable without vision
        • (b)(2) All information necessary to operate and use the product
          • (b)(2)(i) Availability of visual information
  • BITV 2.0 (Priority I)
    • 1.1.1 Nicht-Text-Inhalte
    • 4.1.2 Name, Rolle, Wert
  • Telecommunications Act Accessibility Guidelines
    • 1193.41 Input, control, and mechanical functions.
      • (a) Operable without vision. Provide at least one mode that does not require user vision.
    • 1193.43 Output, display, and control functions.
      • (a) Availability of visual information. Provide visual information through at least one mode in auditory form.
  • WCAG 1.0 Priority 1
    • 08.1 Ensure programmatic elements such as scripts and applets are accessible
  • WCAG 1.0 Priority 2
    • 08.1 - Programmatic elements should be directly accessible
  • Severity7
    in range of 1 to 10
  • Noticeability7
    in range of 1 to 10
  • Tractability6
    in range of 1 to 10