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Re: Flash menu accessibility


From: Anitra Pavka
Date: Apr 25, 2003 9:34AM

M Catlett wrote:

> Does anybody have any resources on Flash accessibility? I have a client
> who demanded a Flash based menu; now I'm struggling to at least allow
> tabbing through the links. I know it has to do with setting the
> 'tabIndex' element of Actionscript, but I'm having trouble with setting
> that properly and can't find much out there in the way of guidelines,
> since Flash MX and its accessibility features is relatively new. And I
> am no Actionscript guru.
> Or would it be better to just go for the "text equivalent" solution in
> this case?
> Thanks,
> --

Setting the tabIndex of Flash objects seems to require the use of
Actionscript. I found a sample chapter (pdf format) of the Flash Usability
Guide that mentions pitfalls to avoid when you set tabIndex (mostly on page
21). Also, since you're combining Flash and HTML on the same page, that
causes other problems. Screen reader users can get into the Flash portion,
but can't get out of it. The sample chapter mentions how to get around that
problem (page 22-23), but the workaround only works in IE. (I don't believe
that should be a huge issue since most of the major screen readers use IE as
their browser.) Make sure when you test the page that you can get around
the Flash portion using only your tab key or tab-shift. This book appears
to have plenty of other useful tips for Flash developers, so it might be
worth getting a copy. (No, I don't have any connection to the book, but I
recognize several of the author's names and know they're experts in the
field of interactive media.)


Good luck!
- Anitra Pavka
Web Developer, www.accesskansas.org
Web Accessibility Advocate, www.anitrapavka.com

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