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media:Fw: Blind People Can't Read Flash

From: David Poehlman <poehlman1@comcast.net>
Date: Wed, 19 Jun 2002 10:34:20 -0400
To: wai-ig list <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-id: <00f201c2179e$6618d410$19e03244@DAVIDPOEHLMAN>

Blind people still can't read Flash
Tim Richardson
Posted: 06/18/2002 at 07:48 EST

The RNIB - the UK charity that helps people with sight problems - has
described as "disappointing" Macromedia's attempts to make its Web
accessible to people with disabilities.

Its assessment follows the recent
introduction of Macromedia's Flash MX technology,
which enables blind people to view Web sites using screenreaders.

Earlier versions of the popular Flash Web design tool were inaccessible

In a bid to test whether Flash MX was up to scratch, the RNIB
Web outfit, Bluewave, to create an
online game
that would be accessible to blind people using Flash MX.

The RNIB wanted to know just how accessible Flash files really are to
with disabilities.

"We're disappointed with the results," said Julie Howell, Campaigns
(Internet) for the Royal National Institute of the Blind (RNIB).

From the outset files created in Flash MX were only accessible to the
version of the Windoweyes screenreader.

And if other screenreaders were used, Flash files were still
she said.

Julie believes this situation is simply unacceptable and has vowed to
continue to lobby Macromedia so that it can continue to develop
that can
be read by all access technologies.

"Macromedia needs to recognise its social responsibility - disabled
shouldn't be locked out of the Web," she said.

While the RNIB is nowhere near satisfied with the progress made to
date, it
is calling on Web designers to use the new software. 
Received on Wednesday, 19 June 2002 10:35:09 UTC

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