Archive for the ‘Flash accessibility’ Category

Flash player update makes screenreader accessible Flash work on Browsers other than internet explorer

October 1, 2007

In the first piece of news worthy of posting for quite some time now, how very disappointing, maybe things will warm up now the summer hols are over, Adobe have released an update to the Flash Player which includes the MicroSoft Active Accessibility (MSAA) support meaning that screenreader users can now gain access to accessible Flash content in Plug-in based Browsers. or in other words, Browsers other than Internet Explorer. Thanks to Niqui Merret for the heads-up and to Steve at dynamic Flash for the links through to details and downloads.

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I’m off to ICC the international computer camp for blind students

July 20, 2007

On Sunday I’m off to Finland to lead a couple of workshops in this years ICC camp this is an annual event which shifts around Europe attracting up to 300 visually impaired students from over 30 countries across Two weeks. The first week for 14 to 17 year olds, the second week for 18 to 21s. I’m going along as a member of staff (for the first time) in week one to lead sessions on accessible portable applications, and on running Blogs, not something I know all that much about but hey I’ll be learning too. If you fancy keeping up with the camp then workshop attendees and I will be running a camp Blog at www.ICCcamp.wordpress.com
please comment a plenty so that we all know people are reading.

Web 2 technologies cut accessibility by 40%

June 14, 2007

That is the shocking headline from this BBC report can it really be that bad? given that various reports over tee years have put the number of sites correctly implementing WCAG1 level AA at about 10%, does a 40% reduction now mean that those dependant on access technologies should now expect to access only 6 in a hundred Websites? well if it does then it’s still 50% more accessible websites than books (4% of books produced in accessible formats) but of course it doesn’t mean that. What it means is that people like me will be spending even longer on sites looking for information before either succeeding or giving up, or that we will have to spend longer searching for an accessible source of the information we are looking for, or more likely that we will find what we are looking for but won’t know it because we aren’t alerted to page content refreshes. and it’s not just access to information, it is also about having a voice. the in pact of web2 on access to information is nothing compared to the complexities of contributing to teh ‘social’ side of the Web. Commenting on Blogg posts, contributing to Wikis and participating in interpersonal activities are among the most challenging online tasks. largely however it isn’t the so-called Web2 technoligy which is the issue, it is the Web 1 elements which are put infront of the interactive elements in the name of for example security. See for example my recent posting re the use of CAPTCHURs by Blogger.

WCAG Samurai released

June 8, 2007

so, the WCAG Samurai is out. Put together by an unknown number of annonymous persons championed by (and who knows, maybe soully) Joe Clark the Samurai is an errata to the Web content accessibility guidelines version 1 bringing them up to date and making them fit for purpose in 2007. the Samurai is not a WCAG version 1.5 but rather a series of corrections and modifications which the author(s) believe will help iron out accessibility issues which continue to be propigated even with implementation of version 1.0. Both independant peer reviews, undertaken by John Sampson-Wild and Alastair Campbell suggest that this is likely to muddy the waters further and that the Samurai might be easier to interpret and implement if it were in the form of a WCAG update rather than list of corrections and modifications and I am enclined to agree. While the current Errata is a valuable point of reference implementation is complex and would be simplified by a WCAG Samurai content accessibility guideline.

More of an issue though is a direct comparison with the re worked WCAG 2.0 working draft. Working as I do in the public sector and setting benchmarks for commercial enterties to work to I have to ask myself which will our stakeholders

  1. find most palatable,
  2. be able to work with,
  3. and which will benefit end users more – if either.

What’s more, can it ever be acceptible for government money to be spent on holding industry accountable to a standard to which we nor they have no opportunity to input, and for which there is in turn no accountability.

difficult questions indeed.