WebAIM - Web Accessibility In Mind

E-mail List Archives

Re: flash satay firefox bug


From: Stephanie Sullivan
Date: May 24, 2005 5:30AM

On 5/23/05 9:59 PM, "John Foliot - WATS.ca" simply typed the following:

> 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?

Hahaha... Without a doubt we are not. ;) If I had time to be more active on
this list, you'd know me and you'd already know that... But I don't blame
you for the reaction in the least. My question was purely curiosity
however. I was just wondering if JAWS was losing market share to some of the
less expensive, more available readers... Or whether they were still holding
strong... (Actually, I read this thread as saying that JAWS was the one with
the Flash satay problem?)
> 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.".

Yes... I'm a standards junkie... Not to worry. ;)
> 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?).

I went to a MAX last year, I attended Bob Regan's, "Accessible Flash"
session. It was very interesting and showed that IF Flash developers
actually stopped to learn how to use the accessibility features in Flash,
their sites would be so much more accessible. I won't argue whether or not
the can be "completely accessible," I'm not a Flash developer and really
I've not spent that much time looking at it. I do know, however, that many
Flash developer's are young guys who never thought about the fact that even
I can't read their 9pt text in their life. Much less that they should create
their buttons so that a screen reader can access them. :P

I would be interested to know -- on the Flash satay question -- if setting
the wmode of your Flash movie to opaque would handle the screen reader focus
issues. I know that an opaque or transparent wmode currently allows screen
readers to pass by Flash and "not get stuck" in it... (I also know that Bob
Regan said that that's not a "feature" but a bug... But it works till they
fix it and heck, maybe that won't be in the development budget this year.
;)) I wrote an article on Flash, DHTML menus and Flash (free) if you want to
know more about wmode and Flash:

As to my involvement with Macromedia/not-yet-Adobe? I'm simply a volunteer
that works mostly in the Dreamweaver area... My development strengths are
X/HTML, CSS and accessibility... Those are the things I both do, and bellow
about, the most. ;)

Stephanie Sullivan
Community MX Partner :: http://www.communitymx.com/author.cfm?cid=1008
Team Macromedia for Dreamweaver :: http://tinyurl.com/6huw3
Co-Author .: "Macromedia Dreamweaver MX 2004 Magic" :. New Riders

"The measure of a life, after all, is not its duration, but its donation."
-- Corrie ten Boom