Title: Interaction Proxies for Runtime Repair and Enhancement of Mobile Application Accessibility
Advisors: James Fogarty, Anat Caspi and Jacob O. Wobbrock
Abstract: We introduce interaction proxies as a strategy for runtime repair and enhancement of the accessibility of mobile applications, allowing inaccessible mobile interfaces to be made accessible. Conceptually, interaction proxies are inserted between an application’s original interface and the manifest interface that a person uses to perceive and manipulate the application. This strategy allows third-party developers and researchers to modify an interaction without an application’s source code, without rooting the phone or otherwise modifying an application, while retaining all capabilities of the system (e.g., Android’s full implementation of the TalkBack screen reader). This paper introduces interaction proxies, defines a design space of interaction re-mappings, identifies necessary implementation abstractions, presents details of implementing those abstractions in Android, and demonstrates a set of Android implementations of interaction proxies from throughout our design space. We then present a set of interviews with blind and low-vision people interacting with our prototype interaction proxies, using these interviews to explore the seamlessness of interaction, the perceived usefulness and potential of interaction proxies, and visions of how such enhancements could gain broad usage. By allowing third-party developers and researchers to improve an interaction, interaction proxies offer a new approach to personalizing mobile application accessibility and a new approach to catalyzing development, deployment, and evaluation of mobile accessibility enhancements.