WebAIM - Web Accessibility In Mind

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Re: Flash and accessibility


From: Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis
Date: Dec 22, 2008 10:05AM

On 22/12/08 16:26, Peter Weil wrote:
> What specific technique(s) do people recommend for providing end-users
> with the choice of viewing the Flash content or the html/css version?

1. Do your best to create your Flash content in accordance with WCAG2
principles, including use of Flash accessibility feature set. This
should allow you to make it accessible to _most_ people, including many
people with disabilities, who have Flash enabled.

2. If the Flash results in a problematic experience with AT, consider
using FlashAID to detect use of MSAA and disable the Flash menu (
http://osflash.org/flashaid ) - this only helps with Windows.

3. Use progressive enhancement so that the Flash menu replaces an HTML
menu when Flash is disabled.

Unfortunately, many of the AT-users who might have trouble using a Flash
menu on non-Windows platforms will still have Flash enabled in order to
play videos (e.g. YouTube). I suppose you could add a "Turn off Flash
menus" button at the top of the page, but that's rather clunky. It also
wouldn't help Firefox keyboard users who tab into your menu then get
stuck there (because you can't tab out of Flash objects in Firefox).

For these reason, I tend to favour using DHTML controls with Flash
services - e.g. DHTML video player control buttons with Flash video
output - over sticking Flash controls directly into HTML pages.

It _might_ be you could use other technologies (Canvas? SVG? CSS
transformations/animations? VML?) to achieve the same visual effects for
your menu as with Flash but with better accessibility.

Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis