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Elementary Accessibility
Updated 3,064 Days AgoPublic

Accessibility features


Elemenatry currently provides a set of features making software accessible for users with vision and motion disabilities.


  • Screen reader [done]
  • High constrast themes [???]
  • Focus highlight [done]
  • Lage fonts and scalable UI [done]
  • Assistive Technologies Support [in progress]
  • Double-click to click mode [done]
  • Visually mark cursor position [planned]
  • Voice control [planned]

User guide

All accessibility features can be turned on in elementary_config "Etc" tab.



Elementary elm_access should be modularized and provide following separate accessibility modes:

  • elm_config_access_reader - enables build-in screen reader support (may be usable if system does not provide Assistive Technology Infrastructore). Back-end should be chosen by setting using ELM_MODULS "access_reader" key.
  • elm_config_access_atspi - enables AT-SPI2 support for accessible widgets
  • elm_config_access_extended_focus - enables extending focusable elements in elementary application (all elm_widgets are focusable and edje parts marked with ACCESS flag)
  • elm_config_access_sticky_focus_mode - privides two step procedure for focusing/activating widget with mouse. First single click on object within its bounds focuses it, Double clik (even outside widget bundaries) will result in activation of currently focused widget. This feature is address to people with motion disabilities, as it reduces number of "missclicks" on GUI. It may also be used on devices with touch screens as its enables eg. focusing button without actually clicking it (useful with combination with screen reader)


  • Focus extending is required when using with screen reader (internal or exteral). Some of UI elements may not be focuasable by default (elm_label) or can be a part of edje (like TEXT parts), which are not focusable in elmementary tree at all. However this objects may contain valuable information and should be read by screen reader. For doing so, elementary focus tree have to contain such widgets/edje parts/
  • In mobile profile hovering over accessible object should emit focus event (elm_config_focus_move_policy_set(ELM_FOCUS_MOVE_POLICY_IN) should be enabled by default)
  • Users with visual and motion disabilities navigate application using keyboard. Focus/highlight should be navigated by standard keys: Tab/Shift+Tab/Up/Down/Left/Right
  • There should be configurable shortcut key allowing to visuially mark cursor (should it be feature of Elementary or window manager/compositor ????)
  • Accessible widget have to provide information about it use context: roles, description (context info)



Elementary 1.11 - Complete AT-SPI2 support

Last Author
Last Edited
Jul 10 2014, 1:15 AM