Archive for July, 2008

July 22, 2008

Draft Documentation for Flash Accessibility Implementation

Accessibility in the Flash Player and in products that depend on it is very important, and there is a lot more built in support for accessibility than most people are aware of. The Flash Player supports over 60 different role constants and has mechanisms for developers to set role and state information for controls, has methods for getting and setting values, and allows developers to define the accessibility location information for a control to help screen magnification tools restrict the magnified viewport, control the accessibility API focus and selection, and more.
In the documentation package linked below you’ll find:

  1. Documentation of the flash.accessibility package and AccessibilityImplementation class
  2. Documentation of the mx.accessibility package and accessibility implementation classes for Flex components
  3. Improvements to “getting started” articles about accessibility, including a information about implementing accessibility on a sample component.

Developers have asked for this information, which has been until now not publicly shared. The documentation that we are now providing is a draft that we would love to hear comments on. To comment on this, please either log bugs on our Flex bug database at, orat the Flex Documentation blog entry on this topic, or you can leave comments here.
The documentation is the result of the efforts of the Flash Player, Flex, and Adobe Corporate Accessibility teams – let us know your thoughts!
UPDATE: I’ve modifed the files for download in response to questions from some reviewers. The zips previously contained files for accessibility that had changed in the langref, but this resulted in flash.accessibility.AccessibilityProperties apparently being removed and replaced by flash.accessibility.AccessibilityImplementation. This is not the case, both are present. Sorry for the confusion.
Download the “accessibility-only version of the Flash and Flex accessibility documentation.

10:34 AM Permalink
July 15, 2008

Adobe Reader 9 and a Guide for Screen Reader Users

Adobe Reader 9 is out and I wanted to point out where to download Reader and to mention that there is a new document available to help screen reader users understand how to access PDF.
The Guide was created in conjunction with AFB Consulting (the consulting arm of the American Foundation for the Blind) and provides information for users of two tools (JAWS and Window-Eyes) to help understand what is possible and expected when interacting with different types of PDF documents that are commonly found online. The types are PDF documents that are:

  1. tagged correctly for accessibility
  2. untagged, with no author attention to accessibility
  3. scanned documents
  4. interactive forms

Helping users understand the differences between these documents and how their assistive technologies can be best used is an important step toward efficient user of PDF files by screen reader users. We hope that this guide is useful, and are interested in any comments.
The guide is presently available as a PDF file, but will also be available as a series of HTML pages soon.
The guide and reader 9 can both be accessed from the Reader 9 accessibility page, at

9:20 AM Permalink