March 18, 2011
I’m pleased to share a new document: Flex 4 Accessibility Best Practices. This document was developed with the help of the SSB BART Group and provides valuable information to help developers create applications in Flex that meet the needs of users with disabilities and help address compliance targets.
This document will soon find its permanent home on the Adobe Accessibility Best Practices page.
Please feel free to send any comments or questions.
March 11, 2011
The California State University at Northridge’s Conference on Disability is going on March 16-18, 2011, and Adobe is offering a number of sessions that we hope people will find interesting and informative, as well as offering opportunities to talk directly to Adobe’s accessibility team and product team members.
The event will feature several sessions and events that I want to provide some details for. Here’s our schedule of events:
Wednesday, March 16
Thursday, March 17
Friday, March 18
The following is not an Adobe session, but it is introducing a valuable resource in the form of a course on accessible Flash development, developed jointly by the Department of Veterans Affairs and SSB BART Group.
Adobe will have several people at CSUN and will be attending the TweetUp as well as being available to talk between or after sessions. Please come introduce yourself and ask questions and share your thoughts.
November 11, 2010
I spoke on Flash accessibility at MAX in Los Angeles, CA at the end of October. The talk, Creating Accessible Flash Content with Flash Professional, is focused for a general audience that is familiar with Flash. I’m providing the slides and a link to the recording of the session here for people who couldn’t attend in person.
Slides: Creating Accessible Flash Content with Flash Professional (MAX 2010)
October 15, 2010
Today the W3C published an update to the Techniques for WCAG 2.0 document and the Understanding WCAG 2.0 document. The Techniques document now includes techniques for Flash content and helps define a way for authors to comply with WCAG 2.0.
Like other sufficient techniques, the Flash techniques do not describe the only way to comply with WCAG 2.0 but define a collection of techniques that an author may choose to utilize. The table below provides a listing of the WCAG level A and AA success criteria and the Flash-specific and General techniques that authors can employ to meet the requirements of the success criteria.
As always, please send comments on existing techniques or suggestions for additional ones. This represents the first pass at the techniques for Flash, we’ll be working on adding more in the future.
July 13, 2010
Hans Hillen from The Paciello Group is presenting a webinar covering Flex Accessibility on Wednesday, July 21st at 12:00 noon EST. This webinar is free, will be recorded for people who can’t attend, and will be captioned.
To attend, simply join the meeting room at http://seminars.adobe.acrobat.com/a11y, no registration or password required.
July 8, 2010
Today the W3C posted an updated techniques document for review, including for the first time a collection of techniques for Flash (and Flex) technologies. The techniques can be viewed at http://www.w3.org/WAI/GL/2010/WD-WCAG20-TECHS-20100708/flash.html – please take a look and send in comments by August 9 to http://www.w3.org/WAI/WCAG20/comments/.
I’d also like to acknowledge the hard work of people at The Paciello Group who helped us assemble the techniques. The techniques come from a wide range of sources and reflect knowledge amassed over several years of working with Flash and Flex, and as such additional credit is due to several others including Jon Avila and others at SSBBart Group, Bob Regan and Matt May at Adobe, Michael Jordan, and others.
Finally, we are also working on a collection of PDF techniques, which we aim to have available in the next round of the techniques document. We look forward to your comments.
July 7, 2010
Today the Linux Foundation announced that it was releasing IAccessible2 with new licensing terms. IA2 is now available with a BSD license. You can read about this change as well as the additional tools available at http://www.linuxfoundation.org/news-media/announcements/2010/07/linux-foundation-delivers-new-licensing-terms-testing-tools-accessi. This is an important change as Adobe works to integrate IA2 into a future version of Adobe Acrobat and Reader, as well as the Flash Player and AIR.
March 31, 2010
As promised, we’ve posted the slides from the Adobe talks at CSUN.
Adobe Accessibility Talks at CSUN 2010
||File types Available
|Accessibility Support for Designers in Adobe Creative Suite
|Access to PDF: Developments in Support of Assistive Technology with Adobe Acrobat
|Accessible eBooks, ePub, DAISY, and Adobe
|Accessible Web Conferencing Update
|Adobe Flex and Adobe AIR for Accessible Rich Internet Applications
|Assistive Technology Access to Adobe Flash and PDF
|Understanding the End User Role in PDF Accessibility (with AFB Consulting)
|PDF Accessibility – Best Practices for Authoring
|Video Accessibility for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Users in Adobe Flash
March 24, 2010
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.
March 22, 2010
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!