With integrated support for Microsoft Active Accessibility (MSAA), Flash Player 11.3 makes content available via screen access technologies such as Window-Eyes from GW Micro, JAWS from Freedom Scientific, and NVDA from NVAccess. Flash Player 11.3 includes support for complex, dynamic sites that update their content via ActionScript. It also helps ensure that users with mobility impairments can move easily between content in the Flash ActiveX control and HTML content.
To help designers and developers ensure that rich Internet applications are accessible, Flash Player 11.3 and Flash CS6 Professional include support for updating and generating accessibility properties via ActionScript. This enables applications to update accessibility information as the content changes.
Additionally, the Accessibility Resource Center provides new documents offering tips and tricks to designers and developers seeking to create accessible Flash content. These documents include information on adding text equivalents to objects in Flash CS6 Professional, marking up forms, working with text, and adding animation. This site will be frequently updated with new tools and information to support accessible design in Flash CS6 Professional.
To access Flash content using a screen reader, users need to have Flash Player 6 or later installed. Download the latest version of Flash Player.
Users also need a screen reader with the Flash Player implementation of MSAA. As Flash Player 11.3 is released, these include Window-Eyes from GW Micro, JAWS from Freedom Scientific, and NVDA from NVAccess. More information about the Window-Eyes, JAWS, and NVDA screen readers and demo versions for each are available on the GW Micro, Freedom Scientific, and NVDA Project websites.
Finally, screen reader users will need to access Flash content using the Microsoft Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox browsers.
When a screen reader encounters Flash content, it typically announces the beginning and end of each FLV movie, SWF form, or other interactive content. Otherwise, the content functions the same way as HTML content on a web page. For example, the following SWF form contains four elements: the title, Electronic Registration; two input fields, Name and Address; and a Send button.
A screen reader would likely read this form as follows: "Electronic registration. Textfield Name. Textfield Address. Button send." The word "textfield" is a cue that a field needs to be completed. The word "button" is a cue that there is a button on the page. Screen reader users would complete these fields and activate the button in the same way they would in an HTML document.
An improvement made in Flash Player 8 and supported in Flash Player 11.3 makes it easier to assign a specific reading order for content using a screen reader. Authors now can specify values for only the relevant objects on the screen, instead of every object in the form. Flash Player reorders the objects into the desired reading order.
By default, Flash Player reads text elements, buttons, and input text in FLV and SWF content. Using Flash CS6 Professional, designers and developers can assign text equivalents for movie clips and even entire movies as well as forms.
With the new accessible components, designers and developers can easily create accessible web applications. Even the most complex movies and forms can be made accessible quickly and easily.
Before downloading Flash Player 11.3, assistive technology users need to use the HTML version of Adobe.com. Learn more about accessibility on Adobe.com.
To download Flash Player 11.3 from the HTML version of Adobe.com, choose Products from the main menu, select Adobe Flash Player 11.3, and click Download Now. You can also navigate directly to the Adobe Flash Player product area.