It is important that all controls that can be manipulated via the mouse also be accessible via the keyboard. This is intended to support users with mobility impairments as well as screen reader users. Adobe® Flash® Player software facilitates keyboard access on its own by automatically making mouse-defined events accessible via the keyboard. However, two specific techniques commonly used among Animate CC designers should be avoided. In addition, designers should add keyboard shortcuts to facilitate keyboard access in complex applications. Finally, designers should be aware of an issue with Flash Player 11 and earlier in pages that blend HTML and content created with Animate CC.
For example, the ActionScript® 2.0 script shown above might be used to open a web page. It is directly associated with the instance of the movie clip used as a button. This script should instead be placed in a frame, likely the first frame, of the movie. The revised script, converted to ActionScript 3.0, could be as follows. Note that this script uses the ActionScript MouseEvent, but this is method is also operational from the keyboard.
Avoid empty hit areas
Hit areas are empty button clips with a shape defined in the hit state. These allow designers to reuse a single library of objects repeatedly by placing them over text objects and varying only the scripts used. The problem with this technique is that screen readers assume that if the contents of the up state of a button clip is empty, then it is not a button at all. The solution to this issue is simple. When a transparent movie clip is placed in the up state, screen readers will recognize the button and allow the user to activate it.
Assign keyboard shortcuts for most essential controls
In complex applications with multiple controls, it is helpful for users to navigate the application using keyboard shortcuts. For many users with mobility impairments, pressing keys may be difficult. Using keyboard shortcuts reduces the number of keystrokes required to perform important tasks.
Using the shortcut field in the Accessibility panel or the .shortcut property in ActionScript is not sufficient for this purpose. Creating a keyboard shortcut requires that a listener event be defined and a script associated with that listener. The shortcut field merely announces a shortcut value via Microsoft Active Accessibility (MSAA). It does not create the listener. Moreover, no screen readers support this feature in MSAA at this time.