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RE: Flash interaction and screenreaders


From: Sinead Hogan
Date: Jul 29, 2005 3:28PM

Hi again,
Yes, I was referring to access keys (sorry, i'm a newbie!)
This brings me to wondering if its possible to make some interactions accessible at all to users of screen readers who can only use a keyboard. For example I could (hopefully!) make my menu system and other interactions accessible to keyboard-only users, and I could make them readable to screen readers. But does this issue of access key use by screen readers mean that it isn't possible to make some interactions accessible to both at once?
Bit of background: I'm involved in building highly interactive elearning-type software in Flash. It simulates the windows desktop environment and involves allowing users carry out almost the full range of mouse and keyboard interaction types. It will be delivered in a web browser.
From what I understand so far though, I would have this same issue if I was using technologies other than Flash. Right?
Forgive my ignorance if I'm way off, but I'm feeling dizzy at what seems like an overwhelming task!

-----Original Message-----
From: <EMAIL REMOVED> on behalf of Glenda Watson Hyatt
Sent: Fri 29/07/2005 12:23
To: WebAIM Discussion List
Subject: RE: [WebAIM] Flash interaction and screenreaders


I know you mean well by wanting to include accesskeys [I'm assuming that is what you are referring to], but, even though a great concept, accesskeys have serious flaws when implemented. One such flaw is the limited number of keyboard combinations not assigned to other programs [browsers, assistive technology]. There are other flaws too, which I'm sure John will enthusiastically elaborate on.

Accesskeys seems to be one of those accessibility features that needs to go back to the drawing board.


Glenda Watson Hyatt, Principal
Soaring Eagle Communications
Accessible websites. Accessible content. Accessible solutions.
www.webaccessibility.biz <http://www.webaccessibility.biz/>;

-----Original Message-----
From: Sinead Hogan [mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ]On Behalf Of Sinead Hogan
Sent: Friday, July 29, 2005 10:48 AM
To: WebAIM Discussion List
Subject: RE: [WebAIM] Flash interaction and screenreaders

Thank you for that Andrew. I have managed to enter text with Window Eyes now by turning MSAA off. This experience has made me wonder though: What about shortcut keys? As far as I can tell, both Jaws and Window-eyes have reserved many/most(!) keys for screen reader operation. So I'm wondering what is best practice is for assigning keyboard shortcuts/alternatives to commonly used commands/buttons for keyboard dependent users. Is there a reserved set of keys that no screen reader will react to, or do you need to turn off/pause the screen reader in order to user another application's keyboard alternatives??
Thanks again,

-----Original Message-----
From: <EMAIL REMOVED> on behalf of Andrew Kirkpatrick
Sent: Thu 28/07/2005 20:58
To: WebAIM Discussion List
Subject: RE: [WebAIM] Flash interaction and screenreaders

I'm wondering if text entry into a text field in Flash is possible while using a screen reader. I'm designing some interactive Flash content, and I simply cannot get Jaws to let me enter text. I thought it might be something equivalent to FORM mode, or MSAA off for Window Eyes, but when I try that it says it cannot detect a form. Can someone tell me if this is possible at all, and if so, if it is something I need to design/develop for in Flash or some configuration setting in the screen reader?

You will need to use forms mode/MSAA off in order to enter text, but it should work without a problem. If you start at the top with JAWS and use the arrow keys to read through the content, does it ever say "edit"? If not, then you may have disabled access to the Flash movie inadvertantly. Can you provide more information?

Andrew Kirkpatrick
Principal Accessibility Engineer, Macromedia

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