Re: Use of role="application" for flash files

First, I agree with Rich that role="application" makes sense for Flash objects right now.

However, I can envision a point in the future where Flash Player could itself implement ARIA. The Flex framework in particular would benefit from ARIA role and state, as well as live regions. We already have similar functionality in ActionScript 3. But we will need to add support for IA2 or UIA to take that next step. My big concern here is leading UA implementers down a path today that will keep us from doing our own ARIA implementation in the future. What happens then? Has there already been a discussion about ARIA-aware plugin content?


On 1/17/09 5:44 AM, "Richard Schwerdtfeger" <> wrote:

The AT should not ignore landmarks in "document browsing" mode so for this it should not matter if you are in "application" mode. Flash supports platform accessibility APIs in the form of MSAA. What they do not do at this point is support a richer accessibility API which would support the entirety of WAI-ARIA. I believe Adobe is looking at the end to end solution but I don't know what progress they have made to supporting an extended API set like UIA or IAccessible2 in the flash player. Matt May can speak more to this.

My experience with Flash is that when it is accessible it works when you are doing application mode style navigation. Browsing the virtual buffer did not work so well. So, I would agree that having role="application" would be a great addition to Flash.

Matt, what are your thoughts?


Rich Schwerdtfeger
Distinguished Engineer, SWG Accessibility Architect/Strategist

[cid:3315221054_56440149]James Craig ---01/16/2009 01:23:33 PM---I can see the benefit of using application on a Flash movie for the

James Craig <>
Sent by: 01/16/2009 01:22 PM



Victor Tsaran <>


Steven Faulkner <>, W3C WAI-XTECH <>,


Re: Use of role="application" for flash files

I can see the benefit of using application on a Flash movie for the
sake of landmark navigation, but it also is intended to communicate to
the UA/AT to switch from 'document browsing' mode into 'application
interface' mode, so it doesn't make as much sense b/c Flash movies
aren't ARIA applications. In a sense, because Flash isn't accessible
on all systems, and because the interface is very different from the
web browser's interface, the author is promising the user something
they can't always deliver, or may not deliver in the way the user

In theory, on the platforms where Flash is accessible, the Flash
player could/should communicate role, state, and property information
directly to the accessibility API, instead of going through the
browser via ARIA.

On Jan 16, 2009, at 9:07 AM, Victor Tsaran wrote:

> I think in general this is a good idea. However, considering how many
> Flash movies on the Internet are inaccessible, this may cause more
> confusion for the end-user if they are suddenly are left with no
> virtual
> cursor and, subsequently, no ability to review the movie's content.
> Victor
> -----Original Message-----
> From: [] On
> Behalf Of Steven Faulkner
> Sent: Friday, January 16, 2009 8:09 AM
> Cc: PF
> Subject: Use of role="application" for flash files
> I recieved a question about the use of role="application" for Flash
> files in web pages.
> My response was
> "The role of application does something quite specific, it tells the
> AT
> to switch modes (if the AT uses them). It was only added as a landmark
> role the other day, so I don't think the PF WG have thought about it
> in
> terms of its landmark use. It would make sense for a flash movie
> that is
> an interactive widget to be given a role="application" i guess..."
> (
> any thoughts or guidance on this?
> While on this subject, with the behaviour of some AT being the
> switching
> of modes when a container with role="application" is encountered, will
> this not have a negative effect upon the navigability of landmark
> roles,
> as it is my understanding that landmark role navigation will only work
> in virtual mode?
> --
> with regards
> Steve Faulkner
> Technical Director - TPG Europe
> Director - Web Accessibility Tools Consortium
> |
> Web Accessibility Toolbar -

Received on Monday, 19 January 2009 22:45:14 UTC