Suggestion: Add a screenreader to the ROM


Sep 22, 2021
Many blind people arround the world are interested in mobile technology and Xiaomi phones are getting more and more popular among them because of Xiaomi's interest in the mobile accessibility., even though it has the core google services framework, it lacks accessibility features such as the screenreading software. Yes, these programs can be downloaded from the Internet no problem, but such download requires either help of a sighted person, installing of Magisk right after the ROM (not all people might want to install the root) or very high technical knowledge about the operation methods of Android. It makes the entry level for custom modding for blind people much higher than the amount of knowledge the sighted person needs to have, because first we need to learn how to operate TWRP exclusively via the command line (Open Recovery Script) and then we need to learn about other tips and tricks like creating our own flashable ZIP in order to inject the screenreader to the already installed ROM. I am an Android modding ensusiast since 2016 and I can't count how much times my phone has almost been bricked or unusable because I needed to hack my way arround things which sighted people just have by default. I understand that you aim for the best debloated experience, but I hope you can understand the needs of people with disabilities.
I see two solutions of this problem. Both of these have their pros and cons and they involve two different screenreading softwares which I will describe below.
1. TalkBack: this is the default software for blind people which has been developed by Google. Its advantage is that people are used to it on the first set-up screen as it is included by all known phone brands by default. With that being said, Talkback also installs its input method on Android. I mention is as this input method is only directed at the american users so many people will see it as bloatware. Also, TalkBack is getting less and lessp opular among blind people who are accustomed with technology, as it offers only very basic screenreading capabilities.
2. Commentary Screenreader (Jieshuo)
This screenreading software is a product developed by a lone man from China. I am the translator and distributor of the program for the western users. This software is the prefered solution for many blind people who are accustomed to technology, and so they use this program on the daily basis. Since custom ROM will be installed by more advanced users anyway I think that including this program would be a much better option than Talkback, as many users of the ROM will replace it with Jieshuo anyway, rendering Talkback somewhat useless. I have spoken to Li, the developer of Jieshuo and he agreed to let include his work into the ROM.
When one of the two solutions is included in the ROM, some settings need to be set by the installation script in order to let a blind user use the phone well on the first setup screen. The list of settings together with their values and description is below:
accessibility_enabled=1 - Controls whether the accessibility shortcut is enabled and so whether it can be used
accessibility_shortcut_dialog_shown=1 - Controls whether the warning dialog has been shown warning the user of the potential danger of an accessibility service
accessibility_shortcut_target_service=com.nirenr.talkman/com.nirenr.talkman.TalkManAccessibilityService - Controls what is enabled by the shortcut key. I unfortunately don't know the name of the TalkBack service, however this can be easily obtained if needed.
I hope that you can understand the need for such software in the ROm and that you will include it. If you do not want to include it officially, I am willing to create my own distribution package of the ROM with the screenreader (if it conforms to the ROM's license).
Was writing an essay necessary though? I won't be reading this, but I think the project leader can comment on this topic. @ingbrzy
@Nuno69 you have our permission to create a special builds for blind users.. but our tools are not public, so you have to make an own research how to do that..
We do not want to include any untrustworthy software (Commentary Screenreader) for all our users..
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TalkBack is developed by Google, so I wouldn't consider it untrustworthy, yet I understand your stance and I will start working on my custom build very soon. Reading essays for me is no problem, so I think I will get somewhere. Thank you for your response.
@Nuno69 you have our permission to create a special builds for blind users.. but our tools are not public, so you have to make an own research how to do that..
We do not want to include any untrustworthy software for all our users