Archive for March, 2010

March 31, 2010

Slides from CSUN 2010 Talks

As promised, we’ve posted the slides from the Adobe talks at CSUN.

Adobe Accessibility Talks at CSUN 2010
Talk Title File types Available
Accessibility Support for Designers in Adobe Creative Suite PDF PPT
Access to PDF: Developments in Support of Assistive Technology with Adobe Acrobat PDF
Accessible eBooks, ePub, DAISY, and Adobe PDF PPTX
Accessible Web Conferencing Update PDF PPTX
Adobe Flex and Adobe AIR for Accessible Rich Internet Applications PDF PPTX
Assistive Technology Access to Adobe Flash and PDF PDF PPT
Understanding the End User Role in PDF Accessibility (with AFB Consulting) PDF PPT
PDF Accessibility – Best Practices for Authoring PDF PPT
Video Accessibility for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Users in Adobe Flash PDF PPTX
10:43 AM Permalink
March 25, 2010

IAccessible2 in Adobe Reader and Access to PDF Portfolios

We shared the following about Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Reader at the CSUN conference:
Adobe is working on major accessibility improvements to Acrobat and Reader. Among the expected improvements, enhanced support for accessibility in PDF forms utilizing Adobe’s XML Forms Architecture (XFA) and accessibility support for PDF Portfolios are important for many users.
Adobe is building in support for IAccessible2, a robust accessibility interface provided by The Linux Foundation that allows rich information about both PDF forms and PDF Portfolios to be made available to assistive technologies. Adobe works with assistive technology vendors to ensure that they are aware of ongoing work that impacts support for PDF, and, at the appropriate time, will be providing builds to vendors that are part of Adobe’s Assistive Technology Vendor Program.
These improvements will not impact form authoring practices, but will improve the functionality of existing PDF/XFA forms and portfolios. Accessibility improvements are currently planned for the next major release of Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Reader.

5:35 PM Permalink
March 24, 2010

Flash Player and Flex Support for IAccessible2 and WAI-ARIA

We have good news about Flash and Flex accessibility support to share. Please check out the following statement:
Adobe understands how important it is for computer users with disabilities to be able to access the entire Internet. In recognition of the needs of computer users with disabilities, as well as the demands on developers who need to easily create applications and content which comply with global accessibility standards, Adobe is planning major upgrades to the accessibility support in Adobe Flash Player.
The upgrades expand on Flash Player’s existing support for accessibility via the Microsoft Active Accessibility interface (MSAA) and will enable accessibility across all three major operating systems (Windows, Mac, and Linux). The Flash Player will employ IAccessible2 from the Linux Foundation and the WAI-ARIA specification from the W3C to address user and developer needs and to ease interoperability with assistive technology vendors.
Additionally, enhancement are planned to the free and open-source Flex software developer’s kit (SDK) including improvements to complex components such as Flex datagrids and adding support for WAI-ARIA to simplify development of custom user interface components. These improvements are expected to start with the next major release of Adobe Flash Player (following Flash Player 10.1), and the first successive release of the Flex SDK.

4:46 PM Permalink
March 22, 2010

Flex 4 and Flash Builder 4 Released with Accessibility Improvements

I’m happy to share the news that Flex 4 and Flash Builder 4 are now available for download from the Adobe web site.
The open-source Flex SDK includes many accessibility improvements in the components to ensure that users of assistive technologies can access Flex applications more easily. During the development cycle the Adobe Flex team utilized the skill and accessibility experience provided by SSB BART Group and The Paciello Group to ensure that the accessibility implementations for standard Flex controls that developers will use are as accessible as possible. TPG and SSB were working waist-deep in the code and did a great job, not only on the exist set of components (Halo components) but also on the brand new Spark component set. As a result, the set of accessible controls is larger than ever and better than ever.
During this cycle we’ve also worked with Freedom Scientific to help reduce the need for Flex scripts for JAWS. As of right now, scripts are not needed for users of JAWS 11, although users of earlier versions of JAWS will use the existing scripts. We also worked with NVAccess and their open source screen reader NVDA, and NVDA users will have positive experiences with Flash and Flex applications also.
Read more about Flex 4 at http://www.adobe.com/products/flex. Flex is available for download at http://www.adobe.com/go/flex4_sdk.
Authoring accessible Flex application is easier than ever not only because of improvements to the components – Flex also provides new convenience properties in MXML to make adding accessibility information simple, and Flash Builder provides additional accessibility support. Flash Builder 4 (formerly called Flex Builder) is designed to help authors build rich internet applications (RIAs) using Flex. In Flash Builder 4 we’ve changed the default setting for new Flex applications to enable accessibility. In the past there was concern about impact on performance, but we feel that it is important to make Flex applications as accessible as possible with our tools.
We’ll have more information and tips about Flex 4 and Flash Builder 4 in the coming weeks. You can read more about Flash Builder 4 at http://www.adobe.com/products/flashbuilder/ and download a trial to check it our yourself.
Congratulations to the Flash Builder and Flex teams on a great release!

11:00 AM Permalink
March 5, 2010

Accessible Flash Presentation How-to

Since Thea Eaton from DoodleDoo created the online tutorial on authoring accessible Flash we’ve heard a lot of positive comments and many questions about the techniques she used.
Thea wrote up an article on the techniques she used for the Adobe Developer Connection Flash site. Please check it out.

12:27 PM Permalink
March 2, 2010

Adobe at CSUN 2010

The California State University at Northridge’s Conference on Disability (commonly referred to as CSUN) is coming later this month, and we do feel that it is beneficial to attend this important accessibility event. We enjoy the opportunity to share important information and news, and to have many conversations with users of Adobe technologies.

This CSUN will be a very busy one for Adobe, with several sessions and events that I want to provide a heads-up for. Here’s our schedule of events:

Tuesday, March 23 – Preconference Session

Accessible Websites and PDF Documents with Adobe Dreamweaver and Adobe Acrobat (Wednesday at 1:30-3:30 pm Madeline AB-PC Lab)

Wednesday, March 24

Accessibility Support for Designers in Adobe Creative Suite (8:00-9:00am Gregory AB-Adobe)

Access to PDF: Developments in Support of Assistive Technology with Adobe Acrobat (9:20-10:20am Emma AB)

Accessible eBooks, ePub, DAISY, and Adobe (10:40-11:40am Gregory AB-Adobe)

Accessible Web Conferencing Update (1:50-2:50pm Gregory AB-Adobe)

Thursday, March 25

Adobe Flex and Adobe AIR for Accessible Rich Internet Applications (8:00-9:00am Gregory AB-Adobe)

Adobe Open Forum (10:40-11:40am Gregory AB-Adobe)
[To clarify this session, this is chance to ask questions, raise concerns, and discuss topics with the Adobe accessibility team in an open setting]

Assistive Technology Access to Adobe Flash and PDF (1:50-2:50pm Gregory AB-Adobe)

Understanding the End User Role in PDF Accessibility (with AFB Consulting) (3:10-4:10pm Betsy AB)

Friday, March 26

PDF Accessibility – Best Practices for Authoring (8:00-9:00am Gregory AB-Adobe)

PDF Troubleshooting for Blind and Low Vision Users (with AFB Consulting) (10:40-11:40am Gregory AB-Adobe)
[This session is providing a chance to talk with Adobe staff from the Acrobat and Accessibility teams about specific issues accessing PDF files or to try to learn new techniques to access PDF files.]

Video Accessibility for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Users in Adobe Flash (1:50-2:50pm Gregory AB-Adobe)

Other Events

In addition, we are sponsoring the CSUN Tweetup on Wednesday night from 6-8pm in the Elizabeth Ballroom.

Adobe will also have a booth (San Diego 315), so please come by and say hello and ask questions or share your thoughts.

9:49 AM Permalink