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Re: Flash accessibility?


From: Mark Magennis
Date: Nov 11, 2001 3:22AM

Adam Roades writes:
> we are attempting to take
> advantage of the inherent capabilities of Flash by designing and
> incorporating features that essentially replicate all of the functions
> performed by AT. For example, each time a sighted user rolls the
> mouse over
> a menu item, he'll hear a sound effect. However, with the
> alternate sounds
> enabled (an option we'll provide at the beginning of the course), someone
> with a visual disability can use the Tab key to navigate to the same menu
> item, and instead of hearing the sound effect, he will hear the menu item
> read by a narrator.
Are you sure this is possible Adam? I was under the impression that you
cannot tab between elements within the Flash because the "stage", which is
where the animation and interaction happens, cannot be made to respond to
the keyboard. I thought that the only things you could do with the keyboard
were jumping between scenes. Excuse my terminology, I'm not a Flash
developer so I'm assuming it uses something like scenes.
Another issue is that, even if you can tab to an item, exactly how is it
going to be read by a navigator? How do you know that this will mirror what
the users particular type, make and model of assistive technology would read
out for that item? Put in a more general sense, how do you replicate the
functions performed by assistive technology when all assistive technologies
behave differently and may have specific preferences set by individual
I'm assuming that "AT" means Assistive Technology.
Dr. Mark Magennis Head of Usability
Frontend - Usability Engineering & Interface Design
40 Westland Row, Dublin 2, Republic of Ireland
Visit our Usability Infocentre at:
<EMAIL REMOVED> tel: +353 1 241 1616
http://www.frontend.com fax: +353 1 241 1601

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