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RE: tabindex & flash


From: Paul Bohman
Date: Apr 23, 2002 2:27PM

The short answer:

There is no other option. you have hit upon one of the main problems
with using Flash. However, there are workarounds. The Utah State home
page has a combination of HTML and Flash navigation. At the top of the
page is a link which says "Turn Flash navigation off." This takes you to
an alternative version of the same page, with all HTML navigation. See

The designer of this page also refused to get rid of the Flash on the
main version. His Flash script is useful to those who do not have
accessibility needs. I'm not opposed to it--in fact, I think it's a nice
little Flash navigation system--but I finally convinced him that he had
to provide an alternative also.

Try as you might, there is no other way. You have to provide an

Addendum to the short answer:

I've been told that you can write a script in Flash to send a person out
of the Flash object. Still, it won't be accessible to those using JAWS
or any other group of people except perhaps those using Window Eyes and
the Flash MX player. Even those with Window Eyes will not be able to
access the Flash content if they do not have the latest Flash player.
Those who simply need keyboard access (without a screen reader) will be
able to use such a script. Perhaps it's worth including just for this
group, but that doesn't solve the problem with screen readers.

In other words, scripts of this type will work for some but not all
disability types. The answer is still that you need to provide an

(And I'm sorry, but I don't know the code for the Flash script. Perhaps
others on this list know the code?)

Paul Bohman
Technology Coordinator
WebAIM (Web Accessibility in Mind)
Center for Persons with Disabilities
Utah State University

-----Original Message-----
From: Kim Grinfeder [mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ]

I just finished designing a page with flash navigation. Half of the
navigation is in the Flash, the other half, the sub navigation, is HTML.
Tabbing works well in the flash navigation, but does not move into to
the HTML section of the page. It won't even allow me to begin tabbing in
the sub navigation (located under the flash file) using tabindex.

Any suggestions? (not using Flash is not an option)


doubleKappa Inc.
tel 212.253.5977
fax 212.505.1648

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