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RE: GW Micro Helps Make Macromedia Flash Content Accessible to P eople Who Are Blind

From: Aaron Smith <aaron@gwmicro.com>
Date: Mon, 04 Mar 2002 14:42:45 -0500
Message-Id: <>
To: RUST Randal <RRust@COVANSYS.com>, w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Yes, we have been working with Macromedia very closely, and it's been very 
exciting to be able to test the new Flash components. I can only tell you 
how Window-Eyes works with Flash (since it's the only screen reader that 
supports it to my knowledge). When a page loads with Flash content, 
Window-Eyes will announce that by saying "has Flash." Then the contents are 
read just like text. Macromedia is using MSAA to serve the textual contents 
of the movie/animation, so it is easily accessible to screen readers that 
support MSAA (like Window-Eyes). Interactive movies are easily traversable 
by pressing tab. Forms and the like are equally accessible.

The only drawback is that Flash animations are dynamic (hence the word 
animation), so the MSAA buffer may refresh numerous times in order to sync 
up with any changes that may be taking place. That might cause some 
confusion to new users who aren't experienced with Flash. Window-Eyes has a 
built-in hot key (ALT-SHIFT-M) to disable the auto-loading of Flash 
refreshes to keep this confusion to a minimum.

It is really incredible to see sites like foxsports.com that were once 
completely inaccessible to now be very accessible.

Just to toot our horn a little more, this is a huge stride in terms of 
accessible multi-media, and we're very excited to be on the forefront of 
this technology and to be working closely with Macromedia.

At 02:31 PM 3/4/2002 -0500, RUST Randal wrote:

>This is the first release of
> >>Macromedia Flash Player that communicates with screen
> >readers. People with
> >>visual disabilities can now share in the best experience on the web.
>Have you had a chance to see how Flash MX works?  I'm giving a presentation
>on accessibility to our local Macromedia User Group on March 20th, and am
>hoping do demo a little Flash MX for them.
>I know I'll be able to get it on the 15th, but any first-hand knowledge you
>could share would be fantastic.

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 Monday, 4 March 2002 14:47:33 UTC

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