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Re: detecting assistive technology


From: Jared Smith
Date: Nov 26, 2002 12:27PM

Flash MX's Accessibility.isActive() function only works if the end
user has the Flash 6 plugin AND a very recent version of Jaws or
Window Eyes screen reader.

Using an empty flash movie to detect the assistive technology would
make the page almost completely inaccessible to any AT user that does
not meet the requirements above. Turning off accessibility access to
the empty Flash movie would only make it disappear if a recent screen
reader is used. Otherwise, the user would get 'stuck' inside the Flash
movie, making the remaining page content inaccessible.

Such a movie could be used to automatically redirect (not usually
recommended) a user to various pages based upon the detection of a
current screen reader. Just create a Flash movie with the following

if (Accessibility.isActive()) {
} else {

The user must have the Flash 6 player for this to work. This is,
however, the only way I know of to detect any screen reader.

Jared Smith
WebAIM (Web Accessibility In Mind)
Center for Persons with Disabilities
Utah State University


ksc> Hi all as ironic as this is flash mx has a property that tells flash if a
ksc> user is using assistive technology or not.
ksc> Accessibility.isActive() indicates whether a screen reader program is
ksc> currently active or not.
ksc> Developers can then use this to serve up the flash movie in different ways
ksc> (not that the movie will be accessible by a long way).
ksc> Obviously Mike, I imagine this is not the solution you are looking for!
ksc> However you could have an empty flash movie set to be innaccessible, this
ksc> movie could then pass the information to you on the page when a user
ksc> visits.

ksc> just an idea!
ksc> Regards Kieran

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