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RE: flash satay firefox bug


From: John Foliot - WATS.ca
Date: May 23, 2005 7:59PM

Stephanie Sullivan wrote:
> Does anyone know of RECENT stats for the number of users of
> each of these
> screen readers? (I'm guessing that JAWS still leads quite nicely?)


While those numbers may be of interest, I am personally troubled when
developers start developing for user agents and/or combinations of user
agents and assistive technology. Why should it matter what percentage of
users use JAWS... Are you suggesting that users of WindowEyes or IBM
HomePageReader should some-how be left in the cold, or treated
"differently"? What of users of other, smaller, yet equally useful screen
reading applications? Surely we're not descending into the "best listened
to in JAWS" hell are we?

I realize that this may appear to be coming on very strong, but please
consider the message as much as the tone. Developing for any one given
user-group or software application will always be at the cost of another.
Stick to the standards, and work within them if you want real accessibility
compliance, else, fall back on the frustrating but published Priority 1
Checkpoint #11.4 "If, after best efforts, you cannot create an accessible
page, provide a link to an alternative page that uses W3C technologies, is
accessible, has equivalent information (or functionality), and is updated as
often as the inaccessible (original) page.".

I will guess from your sig file that you either work for (or very closely
with) macromedia/Adobe. Flash is great, it has it's place, but
unfortunately will never be 100% accessible, given the very nature of the
tool at hand. Music will never be 100% accessible to the auditory impaired
either, that too is just a reality. Using Flash "just because"... Well,
that's a decision that needs to be made in an informed manner, trying to
wiggle around the realities however is a slippery slope and one which I
would hope that this list would not support (but who are we eh?).

Just my $0.02 worth.

Web Accessibility Specialist / Co-founder of WATS.ca
Web Accessibility Testing and Services
Phone: 1-613-267-1983 / 1-866-932-4878 (North America)