Friday, October 05, 2007

Creating Accessible Flash Content

WebAIM has posted an article on making Flash content accessible. Widely it is asserted that Flash is accessible, but the reality is that it's not unless you make a Herculean effort to make it so. Thus, a how-to guide is good to have.

In addition, it has a good overview of general accessibility issues for any web content, not just Flash content:
  • Hearing disabilities
    • Provide synchronized captions for any audio that conveys content
  • Photo epilepsy
    • Remove strobing content that flashes between 2 and 55 times per second
  • Motor disabilities
    • Ensure the Flash content is keyboard accessible
    • Do not require fine motor skills
  • Cognitive disabilities
    • Give users control over time sensitive content
    • Provide easy to use controls and navigation schemes
    • Be consistent
    • Use the clearest, simplest language appropriate to the content
  • Low vision
    • Provide plenty of contrast
    • Allow the Flash content to scale to a larger size
  • Blindness
    • Ensure screen reader accessibility or provide an accessible alternative
    • Ensure keyboard accessibility
    • Do not interfere with screen reader audio or keyboard commands
    • Provide textual equivalents for all non-text elements that convey content or provide a function.
This list of accessibility items is always a good thing to look at when you are faced with a site that you need to update or design. Keeps you in check when you (or someone else) is looking to get funky with AJAX, general Javascript, or Flash on the web.

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