Can You Create Accessible Websites Using Flash?

January 12, 2009, 1:00 - 2:30 PM CST

Presenter:
Mike Scott
MSF&W Accessibility Solutions

About the Presentation

Adobe Flash is a multimedia technology used to add animation and interactivity to web pages. Flash Movies are used for everything from simple animations to complete interactive applications, and Flash Video has become the leading video format on the web.

Adobe has been working hard to make sure Flash is accessible to people with disabilities, but the techniques are still new — and sometimes painful.

This presentation will discuss what Flash technology is, how it can and should be used, and what you need to know to ensure that is accessible to everyone.

About the Presenter

Mike Scott is an assistive technology and accessibility specialist with MSF&W Accessibility Solutions in Springfield, Illinois.

Mike works with a wide range of public- and private-sector clients to help assess the accessibility of existing systems, design and develop new accessible systems, and train staff on how to successfully implement accessibility in system design and development.

Mike has spearheaded many accessibility initiatives, including development of the Illinois Web Accessibility Standards and the Illinois Information Technology Accessibility Act.

Requirements

To view some of the examples used in this presentation, you will need to have Adobe Flash Player 10 installed and enabled. The test movie below should indicate whether Flash Player is installed and working on your system:

Please install or enable Adobe Flash Player

Flash

What is Flash?

Flash is:

Animation

[A sample Flash animation showing several images fading from one to the next.]

Interface

[A sample Flash form with a text box, drop-down list, check box, and button.]

Video

[A sample Flash movie with playback controls including play/pause and a closed captioning button.]

Accessibility

What is Accessibility?

Accommodating People with Disabilities

Assistive Technology

Accessibility Standards

Flash Accessibility

Can we make Flash Accessible?

In theory...

Flash Animation

Animation

Accessibility Issues

Techniques

Provide "alternate text."
For decorative animations...
For meaningful animations...
For complex meaningful animations...
Note: Flash cannot replace HTML

In Practice...

A workaround?
<object type="application/x-shockwave-flash">
  <param name="wmode" value="transparent" />
  <p>Alternate HTML content</p>
</object>

In Summary

Flash Interfaces

Interface

ActionScript
Components

Accessibility Issues

Techniques

Use standard controls.
Enable accessibility.
Label controls.
Avoid custom controls.
Set reading/tab order.
Consider conceptual issues.

In Practice...

In Summary

Flash Video

Video

Accessibility Issues

Techniques

Use Flash CS4 playback controls (skins).
Use the FLVPlaybackCaptioning component.
Use subtitle-horse to create caption files.
Subtitle-horse caption editing screen
Subtitle-horse caption export screen
Other captioning tools:

In Summary

Flash Development Tools

Flash Development Tools

Adobe Captivate

Adobe Captivate

Captivate 3 slide editing screen
Captivate 3 presentation
Captivate 3 closed captioning tool

In Practice...

Adobe Flex

Adobe Flex

In Practice...

Resources

Resources

The End

Thanks