WebAIM - Web Accessibility In Mind

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Accessibility, Flash and wmode


From: Stephanie Sullivan
Date: Jul 25, 2004 9:28PM

Hi guys... Tonight I was writing an article about Flash and JS dropdowns and
wanted to include info about accessibility... Using the WMODE transparent,
in most browsers, makes the Flash possible to hide when the JS menus drop
over it. However, I can't discern what that does with screen readers. The
only info I can find on it that has much info is at WebAIM...

To test what webaim.org was saying about hiding Flash, I downloaded Windows
Eyes and JAWS to try it out and to see if I could figure out my
"transparent" question ... Problem is, I can't find any inaccessible Flash
right now in order to test my theories and see if it become accessible.

Perhaps it's because I have the newest versions of these screen readers?
Does anyone with a screen reader know of a page with Flash that behaves as
WebAIM says below:

"Take any number of Flash banner adds ('punch the monkey' comes to mind),
for example. Often, a little Flash movie on your Web page can make the
entire Web page totally inaccessible via the keyboard or screen reader. To
hide Flash content from both Web browser and screen readers, add the WMODE
option to both the OBJECT and EMBED tags of your the Web page containing the
Flash movie." (this is WMODE opaque that they mention)

I, of course, can't even find Punch the monkey (or kangaroo) right now...
Though I've tried. And I've tried other Flash that does not have the opaque
mode and it is accessible. I've tried Flash tests at Juicy Studio, but those
only give me an example of ACCESSIBLE Flash, not inaccessible.

What I need to know is -- on the screen readers where Flash IS a problem
(don't know what they are), what happens if the WMODE is set to transparent
instead of opaque.

Feel free to contact me off list if you have any information on what screen
reader I might need to download to have the problem. Or even if you know the
answer to my question. Thanks!

Stephanie Sullivan

Co-Author .: "Macromedia Dreamweaver MX 2004 Magic" :. New Riders
CommunityMX Partner :: http://www.communitymx.com/author.cfm?cid=1008
VioletSky Design :: http://www.violetsky.net

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