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Accessible Flash

From: Joe Clark <joeclark@joeclark.org>
Date: Tue, 5 Mar 2002 08:55:22 -0500
Message-Id: <a0510031fb8aa7cd018ef@[216.192.89.5]>
To: WAI-IG <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
>>I use a Macintosh and it is bad enough not being able to see many 
>>websites because they are coded for the Microsoft users of this 
>>world.

I don't know what you're talking about. HTML is HTML. You can even 
watch Windows Media files on Macs if necessary. (And please, no 
complaints that I'm talking out of my hat. I've been using Macs since 
the day they came out and Windows since version 3.1.) Mac IE, 
Mozilla, and iCab all handle allegedly-Windows-specific HTML quite 
handily.

Care to name five different sites you cannot use *at all* on a 
Macintosh? I suppose Java applets could be examples, but that's a 
stretch.


>>So, should I buy a new PC with all the latest kit just so I can 
>>'see' this latest and greatest Flash website? I think not, and I 
>>don't think that I should be forced into doing so.

Unbeknownst to you, Microsoft actually *has* a system-wide 
accessibility infrastructure (Microsoft Active Accessibility). Mac OS 
does not, as I explained at length in my Tidbits series: 
<http://db.tidbits.com/getbits.acgi?tbser=1189>.

I know for a fact that Macromedia *wants* to make accessible Flash 
work cross-platform, but faced with the task of writing its own 
access infrastructure on Mac, they *wisely* opted to take the easy 
path first. Get the thing working on one platform and then worry 
about making it cross-platform.

>>While I think that Macromedia is doing the right thing in 
>>addressing accessibility of its multimedia software and how it is 
>>viewed, I guess that many would agree that this type of product 
>>would be better if it incorporated all users, regardless of 
>>hardware or software.

Flash is *already* platform-dependent. I suppose you want Macromedia 
to also create Flash for DOS.

>>One last thing: has anyone on the list tested this software?

Yes, several of us have.

>>Ahem, excuse me! $795, plus the cost of Windows, plus the cost of 
>>hardware capable of running windows! Not to mention the serious 
>>hassle of mopping up each new "virus"!! How the **** is that 
>>supposed to be "accessible" to any but a tiny minority of the 
>>richest blind people?

Technology costs. Get used to it. And anyway, screen readers are 
aimed at workplace use: JAWS technically stands for Job Access with 
Speech. US$795 is affordable for many companies, and in any event is 
deductible or depreciable.

Oh, but wait a sec-- you want the whole shebang (computer, operating 
system, screen reader) to be free just because you're blind? How 
amusing.

See also: <http://www.alistapart.com/stories/unclear/> which needs updating.
-- 

     Joe Clark | joeclark@joeclark.org
     Accessibility <http://joeclark.org/access/>
     Weblogs and articles <http://joeclark.org/weblogs/>
     <http://joeclark.org/writing/> | <http://fawny.org/>
Received on Tuesday, 5 March 2002 08:58:43 GMT

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