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Re: Flash Accessibility


From: Andrew Kirkpatrick
Date: Jul 6, 2009 10:25AM

Not very - the authoring tool is highly dependent on the timeline and positioning objects, so it is very hard for a screen reader user. However, you may be interested in Flex and FlexBuilder is much more accessible, and tends to be much more code-focused.


Andrew Kirkpatrick

Senior Product Manager, Accessibility

Adobe Systems


-----Original Message-----
From: <EMAIL REMOVED> [mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ] On Behalf Of Geof Collis
Sent: Monday, July 06, 2009 12:07 PM
To: WebAIM Discussion List
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] Flash Accessibility

I'm curious, as a former Flash Developer(MX) before I lost my
eyesight, is the program accessible to screen readers?


At 11:27 AM 7/6/2009, you wrote:
>Some comments within...
>There are some Flash technologies, like AIR. that are currently
>inaccessible on all platforms.
>To clarify this comment, AIR is currently inaccessible to assistive
>technology users on all platforms, but applications built with AIR
>are not completely inaccessible to all users.
>It takes a lot of developer skill and knowledge to improve the
>accessibility of Flash applications. Most Flash developers do not
>have this knowledge or skill or the interest and/or time to learn
>about accessibility.
>I might make the same comment related to all but the most simple
>HTML web pages, and certainly can for HTML applications. There are
>extra tasks associated with high-quality web application
>development, and if you look at the web in general there is a lot of
>knowledge/skill/interest/time lacking with regard to accessibility
>in all corners.
>We need to work with companies creating Flash authoring tools and
>development environments to make sure people creating Flash objects
>and applicatons build-in the accessibility by default, so it is
>easier to create accessible, rather than inaccessible Flash objects
>and applications.
>I'm happy to work toward that goal. One good example to point out is
>the FLVPlayback media player in the Flash authoring tool - it is
>accessible by default for keyboard users, screen reader users,
>screen magnifier users, and other AT users, but yes, it is on windows.
> >> mouse, and readable by JAWS. Using the Tab key, the focus just jumps
> >>
> >> right over the Flash -- I can't Tab to any of the active elements
> >> within
>You should check out
>for evaluation pointers and
>for a method to make focus not skip the flash content in FireFox.
>I hope that these short answers help clarify some points. I too
>would like to see a magic "accessibility button" that would make any
>application that is made fully accessible with no effort on the part
>of the developer, and for that matter I'd like it to be fully
>secure, localized, have a small memory footprint, etc. - we may
>never reach this without any developer effort, but we should keep
>trying to get closer, which is what I believe Jon was driving at in
>his message.