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Fwd: Flash

From: Aaron Smith <aaron@gwmicro.com>
Date: Thu, 07 Mar 2002 11:58:21 -0500
Message-Id: <5.1.0.14.0.20020307115808.00cc55c0@mail.gwmicro.com>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
To beat this horse some more...

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>Date: Wed, 06 Mar 2002 22:04:31 -0500
>To: gw-info@gwmicro.com
>From: Doug Geoffray <geoffray@gwmicro.com>
>Subject: Flash
>
>
>In an earlier message Steve Jacobson was asking some questions about older
>flash presentations and wanted GW Micro to comment.  Deneb Meketa, an
>Accessibility engineer, with Macromedia is much more qualified so he
>responded.  I wanted to make this public for all to read.  The following is
>Deneb's response:
>
>The Flash Player 6 will expose as much information as it can find in any
>Flash movie, including older content.  For the most part, this means text
>and text buttons should come through correctly.  The overall results will
>be rough in some cases.
>
>Starting with version 6 of the Flash MX authoring tool, creators of Flash
>can add text equivalents to entire Flash movies, and to the individual
>objects in their movies.  Authors can also control which objects are
>eligible for voicing, which can help silence distracting visual elements.
>Some advanced techniques are also available, meaning that authors who are
>dedicated to creating accessible content should be able to produce some
>excellent results for screen reader users.
>
>Beginning with version 6, Macromedia is also promoting accessibility
>requirements for Flash content in a high-profile way.  This should help us
>close the most important gap in Flash accessibility, which is one of design
>rather than technology.
>
>In many ways, older Flash content will behave similarly to HTML pages that
>were written without attention to accessibility.  The basic text will come
>through, and all interactive elements will be reachable, but graphics and
>advanced scripting may not be intelligible, and the overall design may not
>make much sense.
>
>It is important to distinguish among the many roles in which Flash content
>appears.  First, Flash can be used as a kind of superset of HTML,
>displaying text, hyperlinks, and interactive elements.  When Flash is used
>in this role, it is usually because designers want to create a Web page
>that is more visually flexible than HTML.  This is a situation that should
>work reasonably well for screen reader users. On the other hand, Flash can
>also be used as a high-perfomance animation tool.  Flash movies of this
>kind are sometimes called "eye candy."  They are highly visual and
>sometimes contain no text.  Often they have audio tracks as well, but often
>the audio is created in an ancillary way rather than making sense on its
>own.  Our hope is that authors of "eye candy" Flash movies will get into
>the habit of simply providing an overall text equivalent for the entire
>movie.  But "eye candy" movies created prior to Flash 6 will not provide
>much useful information to screen readers.
>
>In the end, Steve makes a good point: there is a difference between content
>that is accessible and content that is usable.  We believe that the Flash
>Player 6 gets Flash content from zero to accessible. We now face the more
>substantial task of going from accessible to usable.  That will require
>further advances in the Flash Player, but it will also require attention
>from Flash authors.  In recognition of this fact, Macromedia is turning a
>lot of attention to the research and promotion of usable accessible content.
>
>Yours,
>Deneb Meketa,
>Accessibility engineer, Macromedia Flash Player.
>
>
>Doug Geoffray
>GW Micro, Inc.
>Voice 260-489-3671
>Fax 260-489-2608
>http://www.gwmicro.com
>
>
>
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>gw-info@gwmicro.com.

--
Aaron Smith
GW Micro
Phone: 260/489-3671
Fax: 260/489-2608
WWW: http://www.gwmicro.com
FTP: ftp://ftp.gwmicro.com
Technical Support & Web Development
Received on Thursday, 7 March 2002 11:58:29 GMT

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