WebAIM - Web Accessibility In Mind

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RE: Flash (swf) object and alternatives


From: Karl Groves
Date: Sep 12, 2006 5:50AM

The user of the screen reader will get the Flash if the screenreader
supports it.
Keep in mind that "accessible" Flash is only really possible since Flash MX.
Also keep in mind that support for those new accessible features is *very*
spotty so, while it may "appear" to a screenreader, it still might be
unusable depending on the brand & version of the screenreader.

It is important to remember though, that accessibility isn't just about
blind people. IMO, Flash can be more accessible than HTML. Its self-voicing
capabilities can eliminate the need for a screenreader, and its use of
scalable graphics can make it easy to enlarge things without bad distortion.

All it takes is someone with a strong, in-depth knowledge of Flash.

Karl L. Groves
User-Centered Design, Inc.
Office: 703-729-0998
Mobile: 443-889-8763
Web: http://www.user-centereddesign.com

> -----Original Message-----
> [mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ] On Behalf Of
> Paul Collins
> Sent: Tuesday, September 12, 2006 4:43 AM
> To: WebAIM Discussion List
> Subject: [WebAIM] Flash (swf) object and alternatives
> Hi all,
> I have a question regarding the swfObject / flashObject
> method of embedding movies. When a user doesn't have Flash or
> Javascript enabled, they will get the content in the div
> appropriately named that preceeds the Flash. What happens if
> a user comes in with Flash and Javascript installed and a
> screen reader that supports both? Will they get the content
> in the preceeding DIV as well as the Flash?
> Here is an example I found:
> http://www1.orange.co.uk/entertainment/photography/cameraPhones.php
> If you disable the Jscript, the content in <div
> id="flashcontent"> appears. If someone had a screenreader
> that works with javascript, would they go straight to the
> Flash or will they pick up the HTML code in the source. Or
> will they pick up both?!
> What would be the best practice; would you have a hidden
> title/label in the Flash that could direct the user to a
> suitable HTML version? Would you provide a visible link on
> the page to take them to a new page containing the HTML
> version? Or will this work OK if the Flash has been built
> with Accessibility in mind?
> Would love to hear your thoughts.
> Cheers,
> Paul