Accessibility guidelines for flex, 2007


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Accessibility guidelines for flex, (c) 2007, Skitsanos Inc.

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Accessibility guidelines for flex, 2007

  1. 1. SKITSANOS           Adobe  Flex  Accessibility   Evaluation   Accessibility  guidelines  and  test  sheets   Evgenios  Skitsanos   2007   H T T P : / / W W W . S K I T S A N O S . C O M  
  2. 2. Adobe  Flex  Accessibility  Evaluation   March  1,  2007   Accessibility  policies  vary  from   Web  Application   country  to  country,  but  most   countries,  including  the  European   Accessibility  Evaluation   Union,  have  adopted  standards   based  on  the  Web  Content   The  Federal  Mandate:  Section  508  Standards   Accessibility  Guidelines  (WCAG)  of     the  World  Wide  Web  Consortium.   In  the  United  States,  Section  508  of   Section   508   of   the   U.S.   Rehabilitation   Act   prohibits   federal   agencies   the  U.S.  Rehabilitation  Act   from   buying,   developing,   maintaining,   or   using   electronic   and   mandates  that  web  content   information   technology   that   is   inaccessible   to   people   with   disabilities.   maintained  by  the  federal   government  must  be  made   Although   Section   508   was   enacted   more   than   14   years   ago,   little   accessible  to  people  with   progress  was  made  until  1998,  when  Congress  passed  the  Workforce   disabilities.  This  law  is  based  on   Investment  Act,  amending  the  law  to  give  members  of  the  public  and   W3C  priority  1  checkpoints.   government   employees   with   disabilities   the   right   to   sue   agencies   in   federal  court  and  file  administrative  complaints  for  noncompliance.   The   deadline   for   full   compliance   of   Federal   websites   with   Section   508   was   June   21,   2001.   (It   does   not   apply   to   web   pages   of   private   industry).   Specifically,   the   law   directs   all   Federal   agencies   that   develop,   procure,   maintain,   or   use   electronic   and   information   technology  to  ensure  that  this  technology  is  accessible  to  employees   and  members  of  the  public.  The  amended  Section  508  requires  that:   "…electronic   and   information   technology   allows   Federal   employees   with   disabilities   to   have   access   to   and   use   of   information   and   data   that  is  comparable  to  the  access  to  and  use  of  information  and  data   by   Federal   employees   who   are   not   individuals   with   disabilities,   unless   an   undue   burden   would   be   imposed   on   the   agency."   Read   the   full   regulation.         h t t p : / / w w w . s k i t s a n o s . c o m   Page  2    
  3. 3. Adobe  Flex  Accessibility  Evaluation   March  1,  2007   Section  508  also  requires  that:     “…individuals   with   disabilities   who   are   members   of   the   public   seeking   information   or   services   from   a   Federal  agency  have  access  to  and  use  of  information  and  data  that  is  comparable  to  that  provided  to   the  public  who  are  not  individuals  with  disabilities,  unless  an  undue  burden  would  be  imposed  on  the   agency.”  The  full  regulation  can  be  viewed  at   While  applying  legal  leverage  to  agencies,  Section  508  also  uses  government  buying  power  to  pressure   companies   to   produce   accessible   products.   Section   508   standards   will   become   part   of   the   Federal   Acquisition   Regulation   and   other   federal   laws   that   govern   agency   buying.   Simply   put,   companies   will   no   longer   be   able   to   sell   federal   agencies   any   software   or   hardware   that   fails   to   meet   accessibility   standards.   This   report   would   give   some   explanations   on   current   requirements   on   web   application   usability   and   accessibility,  clarify  number  of  tests  and  their  results  and  describe  couple  of  products  that  exists  today   on  the  market  for  people  with  disabilities.     This   report   describes   the   conformance   of   the   Flex   driven   Web   application   sample   with   W3Cs   Web   Content   Accessibility   Guidelines   (WCAG)   1.0.   The   review   process   is   described   document   below   and   is   based   on   the   W3Cs   Conformance   Evaluation   method   as   described   in   Evaluating   Web   Sites   for   Accessibility.       Based   on   this   evaluation,   sample   web   application   does   not   meet   WCAG   1.0   -­‐   Conformance   Level   Double   A.  Detailed  review  results  are  available  within  this  document  below.               h t t p : / / w w w . s k i t s a n o s . c o m   Page  3    
  4. 4. Adobe  Flex  Accessibility  Evaluation   March  1,  2007   Section  508  Checklist     First   thing   you   need   to   know   in   order   to   test   your   web   application   is   what   the   minimal   requirements   that  your  web  application  have  to  fulfill.  There  are  at  least  two  sets  of  requirements  for  this  moment,   one  is  for  HTML  and  another  one  is  for  JavaScript.  Since  target  application  is  going  to  be  implemented  in   Adobe  Flex  we  going  to  review  requirements  related  only  to  Adobe  Flex  framework.     Accessibility  Requirements  for  Scripts,  Plug-­‐ins,  Java,  etc.   The  following  standards  are  excerpted  from  Section  508  of  the  Rehabilitation  Act,  §1194.21.  Full  text  of   Section  508  -­‐  external  link  (   SEC.  508  STANDARD   (a)  When  software  is  designed  to  run  on  a  system  that  has  a  keyboard,  product  functions  shall  be   executable  from  a  keyboard  where  the  function  itself  or  the  result  of  performing  a  function  can  be   discerned  textually.   (b)  Applications  shall  not  disrupt  or  disable  activated  features  of  other  products  that  are  identified  as   accessibility  features,  where  those  features  are  developed  and  documented  according  to  industry   standards.  Applications  also  shall  not  disrupt  or  disable  activated  features  of  any  operating  system   that  are  identified  as  accessibility  features  where  the  application  programming  interface  for  those   accessibility  features  has  been  documented  by  the  manufacturer  of  the  operating  system  and  is   available  to  the  product  developer.   (c)  A  well-­‐defined  on-­‐screen  indication  of  the  current  focus  shall  be  provided  that  moves  among   interactive  interface  elements  as  the  input  focus  changes.  The  focus  shall  be  programmatically   exposed  so  that  assistive  technology  can  track  focus  and  focus  changes.   (d)  Sufficient  information  about  a  user  interface  element  including  the  identity,  operation  and  state  of   the  element  shall  be  available  to  assistive  technology.  When  an  image  represents  a  program  element,   the  information  conveyed  by  the  image  must  also  be  available  in  text.   (e)  When  bitmap  images  are  used  to  identify  controls,  status  indicators,  or  other  programmatic   elements,  the  meaning  assigned  to  those  images  shall  be  consistent  throughout  an  applications   performance.   (f)  Textual  information  shall  be  provided  through  operating  system  functions  for  displaying  text.  The   minimum  information  that  shall  be  made  available  is  text  content,  text  input  caret  location,  and  text   attributes.   (g)  Applications  shall  not  override  user  selected  contrast  and  color  selections  and  other  individual   display  attributes.   (h)  When  animation  is  displayed,  the  information  shall  be  displayable  in  at  least  one  non-­‐animated   presentation  mode  at  the  option  of  the  user.   (i)  Color  coding  shall  not  be  used  as  the  only  means  of  conveying  information,  indicating  an  action,   prompting  a  response,  or  distinguishing  a  visual  element.   (j)  When  a  product  permits  a  user  to  adjust  color  and  contrast  settings,  a  variety  of  color  selections   capable  of  producing  a  range  of  contrast  levels  shall  be  provided.   (k)  Software  shall  not  use  flashing  or  blinking  text,  objects,  or  other  elements  having  a  flash  or  blink   frequency  greater  than  2  Hz  and  lower  than  55  Hz.     h t t p : / / w w w . s k i t s a n o s . c o m   Page  4    
  5. 5. Adobe  Flex  Accessibility  Evaluation   March  1,  2007   (l)  When  electronic  forms  are  used,  the  form  shall  allow  people  using  assistive  technology  to  access   the  information,  field  elements,  and  functionality  required  for  completion  and  submission  of  the   form,  including  all  directions  and  cues.               h t t p : / / w w w . s k i t s a n o s . c o m   Page  5    
  6. 6. Adobe  Flex  Accessibility  Evaluation   March  1,  2007   Software  applications  for  disabled  people     JAWS   The   most   popular   screen   reader   worldwide,   JAWS®   for   Windows®   works   with   your   PC   to   provide   access   to  today’s  software  applications  and  the  Internet.  With  its  internal  software  speech  synthesizer  and  the   computer’s   sound   card,   information   from   the   screen   is   read   aloud,   providing   technology   to   access   a   wide   variety   of   information,   education   and   job   related   applications.   JAWS   also   outputs   to   refreshable   braille   displays,   providing   unmatched   braille   support   of   any   screen   reader   on   the   market.   Get   started   with  training  in  DAISY  format  and  a  trial  version  of  Freedom  Scientifics  FSReader  DAISY  player  software.   Product  home  page:       Thunder   Thunder  is  free  screen  reader  talking  software  for  blind  and  visually  impaired  people.  Thunder  will  speak   all   Windows   menus   and   dialog   boxes,   allowing   full   control   of   your   computer.   It   gives   full   speech   feedback  for  most  text-­‐based  word  processing  tasks  including  editing  documents.  Thunder  enables  the   blind   user   to   keep   in   touch   with   friends   and   family   in   complete   privacy   by   using   the   popular   Outlook   Express   e-­‐mail,   which   is   available   on   every   computer.   To   enjoy   the   internet,   use   WebbIE,   the   text   browser,  which  is  part  of  the  Thunder  download.   Product  home  page:             h t t p : / / w w w . s k i t s a n o s . c o m   Page  6    
  7. 7. Adobe  Flex  Accessibility  Evaluation   March  1,  2007   Accessibility  tests   At  this  moment  JAWS  seems  as  most  advanced  screen  reader  with  rich   functionality  and  capabilities  to  handle  very  complicated  web  content  as  well   with  handling  static  applications  within  user’s  desktops.     Screen  reader  and  Browser  specifics   By   now,   almost   everyone   has   heard   about   the   IE   Security   Update   and   how   it   impacts   ActiveX   control   interaction.  With  the  release  of  JAWS  7.1,  there  are  additional  reasons  to  make  sure  that  you  add  the   HTML   Object   element   in   the   way   suggested   at   the   Active   Content   Developer   Resource   site   (   If   you   dont,   heres   an   example   of   the   badness   that   youll   inflict   on   your   screen   reader   users.   In   JAWS   there  are  two  modes  that  you  need  to  think  about  -­‐  Virtual  PC  Cursor  mode,  which  allows  the  user  to   read   through   the   document   line   by   line   or   using   several   shortcuts;   and   Forms   mode,   which   allows   users   to   interact   with   controls   and   type   information   into   editable   controls.   There   are   two   modes   because   keystrokes  that  are  needed  to  navigate  (e.g.  "f"  takes  you  to  the  first  form  control  on  a  page  in  HTML  or   Flash)   may   also   be   needed   in   a   control   (e.g.   Frank   needs   to   enter   his   name   in   a   TextInput).   When   a   user   locates  a  form  control  in  HTML  or  Flash,  they  hit  enter  and  JAWS  says  "forms  mode  on"  and  the  user   can  interact  with  the  control.   To   simplify   your   Flex   application   launching   process   we   do   recommend   using   small   JavaScript   library   called  SWFObject  by  Geoff  Stearns.   SWFObject  is  a  small  JavaScript  file  that  you  can  use  for  embedding  Macromedia  Flash  content  into  your   website.   The   script   detects   Flash   Player   in   all   major   web   browsers   (Mac   OS   and   Windows)   and   is   designed  to  make  embedding  SWF  files  as  easy  as  possible.     Besides   being   very   search   engine–friendly,   SWFObject   degrades   gracefully,   can   be   used   in   valid   HTML   and  XHTML  1.0  documents  (that  is,  when  pages  are  sent  as  text/html  instead  of  application/xhtml+xml),   and  is  forward-­‐compatible.  It  should  work  for  years  to  come.   You  can  read  how  SWFObject  works  on  Adobe  web  site  at     A  second  issue  with  JAWS  7.1  is  that  when  you  tab  through  a  web  page  in  Virtual  PC  Cursor  mode  and   tab  to  the  not-­‐yet-­‐activated  ActiveX  control  you  might  expect  that  youd  hear  the  same  information  that   is   available   visually   ("Press   SPACEBAR   or   ENTER   to   activate   and   use   this   control"),   but   you   dont.   You   hear  nothing.  If  the  user  is  aware  that  theyve  tabbed  onto  something  they  might  hit  ins+tab  to  read  that   item  and  then  they  will  hear  "Flash  movie  start".  If  the  use  is  familiar  with  what  is  going  on  they  might   hit  enter  or  space,  but  neither  will  work.  The  user  needs  to  use  the  arrow  keys  to  navigate  into  the  flash   content  and  if  they  need  to  enter  forms  mode  deal  with  repositioning  their  focus.     h t t p : / / w w w . s k i t s a n o s . c o m   Page  7    
  8. 8. Adobe  Flex  Accessibility  Evaluation   March  1,  2007   All   of   this   is   a   consequence   of   changes   made   to   JAWS   for   version   7.1.   If   you   enable   "legacy   Internet   Explorer  Support"  in  the  JAWS  Configuration  Managers  HTML  Options  dialog  all  of  these  issues  go  away,   but  you  cant  count  on  users  doing  that.   Avoid   all   this   by   using   the   method   recommended   at   the   Active   Content   Developer   Resource   site   (     Product  Accessibility  Templates   Adobe   released   Product   Accessibility   Templates   for   number   of   their   products,   include   Adobe   Flash.   Adobe  Voluntary  Product  Accessibility  Template  (VPAT)  spells  out  the  details  of  the  law  and  outlines  the   accessibility-­‐related  features  of  various  products.  A  Voluntary  Product  Accessibility  Template,  or  VPAT,  is   a   standardized   form   that   lists   all   of   the   regulations   of   Section   508   and   explains   how   a   given   product   helps   you   comply   with   each   regulation.   The   VPAT   was   developed   by   the   Information   Technology   Industry  Council  to  be  used  across  the  software  industry.   The  purpose  of  the  Voluntary  Product  Accessibility  Template  is  to  assist  federal  contracting  officials  in   making   preliminary   assessments   regarding   the   availability   of   commercial   electronic   and   information   technology   products   and   services   with   features   that   support   accessibility.   It   is   assumed   that   these   product   and   service   providers   will   offer   additional   contact   information   to   facilitate   more   detailed   inquiries.   The  first  table  of  the  Accessibility  Template  provides  a  summary  view  of  the  Section  508  standards.  The   subsequent   tables   provide   more   detailed   information   on   each   subsection.   Each   table   contains   three   columns.   Column   one   of   the   Summary   Table   describes   the   subsections   of   subparts   B   and   C   of   Section   508   standards.   The   second   column   of   the   Summary   Table   describes   the   supporting   features   of   the   product   or   refers   readers   to   a   corresponding   Detail   table.   Finally,   the   third   column   of   the   Summary   Table   contains   any   additional   remarks   and   explanations   about   the   product.   In   the   subsequent   (Detail)   tables,  the  first  column  lists  the  lettered  criteria  of  each  subsection.  The  second  column  describes  the   supporting  features  of  the  product  as  specified  by  that  criteria.  The  third  column  contains  any  additional   remarks  and  explanations  about  the  product  relating  to  the  specified  criteria.   VPAT  for  Flash  Player  version  8  had  been  used,  since  there  no  materials  published  yet  for  Flash  9.   Summary  Table   Voluntary  Product  Accessibility  Template   Criteria   Supporting  Features   Remarks  and  explanations   Section  1194.21  Software   Please  refer  to  the  following   The  criteria  of  this  section  apply  to   Applications  and  Operating   VPAT  for  Macromedia  Flash  8   Macromedia  Flash  8,  the  application   Systems   features  that  meet  these   used  to  create  Macromedia  Flash   criteria.     Player  8  content.     Section  1194.22  Web-­‐based   Please  refer  to  the  following   The  criteria  of  this  section  apply  to   internet  information  and   VPAT  for  Macromedia  Flash  8   Macromedia  Flash  8,  the  application     h t t p : / / w w w . s k i t s a n o s . c o m   Page  8    
  9. 9. Adobe  Flex  Accessibility  Evaluation   March  1,  2007   applications   features  that  meet  these   used  to  create  Macromedia  Flash   criteria.     Player  8  content.     Section  1194.23   These  criteria  do  not  apply  to       Telecommunications  Products   Macromedia  Flash  8.     Section  1194.24  Video  and   Please  refer  to  the  following   The  criteria  of  this  section  apply  to   Multi-­‐media  Products   VPAT  for  Macromedia  Flash  8   Macromedia  Flash  8,  the  application   features  that  meet  these   used  to  create  Macromedia  Flash   criteria.     Player  8  content.     Section  1194.25  Self-­‐ These  criteria  do  not  apply  to       Contained,  Closed  Product   Macromedia  Flash  8.     Section  1194.26  Desktop  and   These  criteria  do  not  apply  to       Portable  Computers   Macromedia  Flash  8.     Section  1194.31  Functional   Please  refer  to  the  following   The  criteria  of  this  section  apply  to   Performance  Criteria   VPAT  for  Macromedia  Flash  8   Macromedia  Flash  8,  the  application   features  that  meet  these   used  to  create  Macromedia  Flash   criteria.     Player  8  content.     Section  1194.41  Information,   Please  refer  to  the  following   The  criteria  of  this  section  apply  to   Documentation,  and  Support   VPAT  for  Macromedia  Flash  8   Macromedia  Flash  8,  the  application   features  that  meet  these   used  to  create  Macromedia  Flash   criteria.     Player  8  content.       Section  1194.21  Software  Applications  and  Operating  Systems  –  Detail   Voluntary  Product  Accessibility  Template   Criteria   Supporting  Features   Remarks  and  explanations   (a)  When  software  is  designed   Criteria  partially  met:         to  run  on  a  system  that  has  a   In  Macromedia  Flash  8,   keyboard,  product  functions   interaction  with  the  Stage  and   shall  be  executable  from  a   the  Timeline  is  not  possible   keyboard  where  the  function   using  the  keyboard.   itself  or  the  result  of   performing  a  function  can  be   discerned  textually.     (b)  Applications  shall  not   Criteria  met  with  minor       disrupt  or  disable  activated   exceptions:   features  of  other  products  that   Macromedia  Flash  8  does  not   are  identified  as  accessibility   interfere  with  accessibility   features,  where  those  features   features  native  to  operating   are  developed  and   systems,  with  the  exception  of   documented  according  to   button  images  in  the  Property   industry  standards.   and  Tag  inspectors  which  are   Applications  also  shall  not   difficult  to  see  when  using  the   disrupt  or  disable  activated   Windows  XP  high  contrast   features  of  any  operating   mode.     system  that  are  identified  as   accessibility  features  where     h t t p : / / w w w . s k i t s a n o s . c o m   Page  9    
  10. 10. Adobe  Flex  Accessibility  Evaluation   March  1,  2007   the  application  programming   interface  for  those  accessibility   features  has  been  documented   by  the  manufacturer  of  the   operating  system  and  is   available  to  the  product   developer.     (c)  A  well-­‐defined  on-­‐screen   Criteria  fully  met.       indication  of  the  current  focus   shall  be  provided  that  moves   among  interactive  interface   elements  as  the  input  focus   changes.  The  focus  shall  be   programmatically  exposed  so   that  Assistive  Technology  can   track  focus  and  focus  changes.     (d)  Sufficient  information   Criteria  met  with  minor       about  a  user  interface  element   exceptions:  Macromedia  Flash   including  the  identity,   8  does  not  provide   operation  and  state  of  the   information  about  whether   element  shall  be  available  to   individual  panels  are  open  or   Assistive  Technology.  When  an   closed  to  assistive  technology.   image  represents  a  program   element,  the  information   conveyed  by  the  image  must   also  be  available  in  text.     (e)  When  bitmap  images  are   Criteria  fully  met.       used  to  identify  controls,   status  indicators,  or  other   programmatic  elements,  the   meaning  assigned  to  those   images  shall  be  consistent   throughout  an  applications   performance.     (f)  Textual  information  shall  be   Criteria  fully  met.       provided  through  operating   system  functions  for  displaying   text.  The  minimum   information  that  shall  be  made   available  is  text  content,  text   input  caret  location,  and  text   attributes.     (g)  Applications  shall  not   Criteria  partially  met:       override  user  selected  contrast   Selected  panels  do  not   and  color  selections  and  other   respond  to  user-­‐selected   individual  display  attributes.     operating  system  color  and   contrast  or  font  display  size     h t t p : / / w w w . s k i t s a n o s . c o m   Page  10    
  11. 11. Adobe  Flex  Accessibility  Evaluation   March  1,  2007   settings,  including  the  output,   parameters,  bindings,  schema,   and  libary  panels.   (h)  When  animation  is   Criteria  fully  met.         displayed,  the  information   shall  be  displayable  in  at  least   one  non-­‐animated   presentation  mode  at  the   option  of  the  user.     (i)  Color  coding  shall  not  be   Criteria  fully  met.       used  as  the  only  means  of   conveying  information,   indicating  an  action,  prompting   a  response,  or  distinguishing  a   visual  element.     (j)  When  a  product  permits  a   Criteria  fully  met.       user  to  adjust  color  and   contrast  settings,  a  variety  of   color  selections  capable  of   producing  a  range  of  contrast   levels  shall  be  provided.     (k)  Software  shall  not  use   Criteria  fully  met.       flashing  or  blinking  text,   objects,  or  other  elements   having  a  flashing  or  blink   frequency  greater  than  2  Hz   and  lower  than  55  Hz.     (l)  When  electronic  forms  are   Criteria  partially  met:         used,  the  form  shall  allow   The  following  dialog  boxes  in   people  using  Assistive   the  Macromedia  Flash  8   Technology  to  access  the   authoring  application  use   information,  field  elements,   custom  controls  not  readily   and  functionality  required  for   accessible  by  assistive   completion  and  submission  of   technology.  These  include:  the   the  form,  including  all   Preferences  dialog  box,  the   directions  and  cues.     Keyboard  Shortcuts  dialog   box,  and  the  Create  New   Symbol  dialog  box.       Section  1194.22  Web-­‐based  Internet  information  and  applications  -­‐  Detail     Voluntary  Product  Accessibility  Template   Criteria   Supporting  Features   Remarks  and  explanations   (a)  A  text  equivalent  for  every  non-­‐ Criteria  fully  met.       text  element  shall  be  provided   (e.g.,  via  "alt",  "longdesc",  or  in     h t t p : / / w w w . s k i t s a n o s . c o m   Page  11    
  12. 12. Adobe  Flex  Accessibility  Evaluation   March  1,  2007   element  content).     (b)  Equivalent  alternatives  for  any   Criteria  fully  met.       multimedia  presentation  shall  be   synchronized  with  the   presentation.     (c)  Web  pages  shall  be  designed  so   Criteria  fully  met.       that  all  information  conveyed  with   color  is  also  available  without   color,  for  example  from  context  or   markup.     (d)  Documents  shall  be  organized   Criteria  not  applicable  to  this   Macromedia  Flash  8  content   so  they  are  readable  without   product.   works  independently  of  style   requiring  an  associated  style  sheet.     sheets.     (e)  Redundant  text  links  shall  be   Criteria  not  applicable  to  this   Macromedia  Flash  8  content   provided  for  each  active  region  of   product.   does  not  use  server-­‐side  image   a  server-­‐side  image  map.     maps.     (f)  Client-­‐side  image  maps  shall  be   Criteria  not  applicable  to  this   Macromedia  Flash  MX  content   provided  instead  of  server-­‐side   product.   does  not  use  client-­‐side  image   image  maps  except  where  the   maps.     regions  cannot  be  defined  with  an   available  geometric  shape.     (g)  Row  and  column  headers  shall   Criteria  not  met.  Macromedia       be  identified  for  data  tables.     Flash  8  content  does  not  have   primitives  for  table  data.     (h)  Markup  shall  be  used  to   Criteria  not  met.  Macromedia       associate  data  cells  and  header   Flash  8  content  does  not  have   cells  for  data  tables  that  have  two   primitives  for  table  data.     or  more  logical  levels  of  row  or   column  headers.     (i)  Frames  shall  be  titled  with  text   Criteria  not  applicable  to  this   Macromedia  Flash  8  content   that  facilitates  frame  identification   product.   does  not  contain  layout  frames.     and  navigation.     (j)  Pages  shall  be  designed  to  avoid   Criteria  fully  met.       causing  the  screen  to  flicker  with  a   frequency  greater  than  2  Hz  and   lower  than  55  Hz.     (k)  A  text-­‐only  page,  with   Criteria  fully  met.       equivalent  information  or   functionality,  shall  be  provided  to   make  a  web  site  comply  with  the   provisions  of  this  part,  when   compliance  cannot  be   accomplished  in  any  other  way.   The  content  of  the  text-­‐only  page   shall  be  updated  whenever  the   primary  page  changes.     (l)  When  pages  utilize  scripting   Criteria  fully  met.         h t t p : / / w w w . s k i t s a n o s . c o m   Page  12    
  13. 13. Adobe  Flex  Accessibility  Evaluation   March  1,  2007   languages  to  display  content,  or  to   create  interface  elements,  the   information  provided  by  the  script   shall  be  identified  with  functional   text  that  can  be  read  by  Assistive   Technology.     (m)  When  a  web  page  requires   Criteria  fully  met.       that  an  applet,  plug-­‐in  or  other   application  be  present  on  the   client  system  to  interpret  page   content,  the  page  must  provide  a   link  to  a  plug-­‐in  or  applet  that   complies  with  §1194.21(a)  through   (l).     (n)  When  electronic  forms  are   Criteria  fully  met.       designed  to  be  completed  on-­‐line,   the  form  shall  allow  people  using   Assistive  Technology  to  access  the   information,  field  elements,  and   functionality  required  for   completion  and  submission  of  the   form,  including  all  directions  and   cues.     (o)  A  method  shall  be  provided   Criteria  fully  met.       that  permits  users  to  skip   repetitive  navigation  links.     (p)  When  a  timed  response  is   Criteria  fully  met.       required,  the  user  shall  be  alerted   and  given  sufficient  time  to   indicate  more  time  is  required.     Note  to  1194.22:  The  Board  interprets  paragraphs  (a)  through  (k)  of  this  section  as  consistent  with  the   following  priority  1  Checkpoints  of  the  Web  Content  Accessibility  Guidelines  1.0  (WCAG  1.0)  (May  5   1999)  published  by  the  Web  Accessibility  Initiative  of  the  World  Wide  Web  Consortium:  Paragraph  (a)   -­‐  1.1,  (b)  -­‐  1.4,  (c)  -­‐  2.1,  (d)  -­‐  6.1,  (e)  -­‐  1.2,  (f)  -­‐  9.1,  (g)  -­‐  5.1,  (h)  -­‐  5.2,  (i)  -­‐  12.1,  (j)  -­‐  7.1,  (k)  -­‐  11.4.     Section  1194.24  Video  and  Multimedia  Products  -­‐  Detail     Voluntary  Product  Accessibility  Template   Criteria   Supporting  Features   Remarks  and  explanations   (a)  All  analog  television  displays   Criteria  not  applicable  to  this   Macromedia  Flash  8  does  not   13  inches  and  larger,  and   product.   include  any  display  hardware.     computer  equipment  that   includes  analog  television   receiver  or  display  circuitry,  shall   be  equipped  with  caption   decoder  circuitry  which     h t t p : / / w w w . s k i t s a n o s . c o m   Page  13    
  14. 14. Adobe  Flex  Accessibility  Evaluation   March  1,  2007   appropriately  receives,  decodes,   and  displays  closed  captions  from   broadcast,  cable,  videotape,  and   DVD  signals.  As  soon  as   practicable,  but  not  later  than   July  1,  2002,  widescreen  digital   television  (DTV)  displays   measuring  at  least  7.8  inches   vertically,  DTV  sets  with   conventional  displays  measuring   at  least  13  inches  vertically,  and   stand-­‐alone  DTV  tuners,  whether   or  not  they  are  marketed  with   display  screens,  and  computer   equipment  that  includes  DTV   receiver  or  display  circuitry,  shall   be  equipped  with  caption   decoder  circuitry  which   appropriately  receives,  decodes,   and  displays  closed  captions  from   broadcast,  cable,  videotape,  and   DVD  signals.     (b)  Television  tuners,  including   Criteria  not  applicable  to  this   Macromedia  Flash  8  does  not   tuner  cards  for  use  in  computers,   product.   include  any  television  tuner   shall  be  equipped  with  secondary   hardware.     audio  program  playback  circuitry.     (c)  All  training  and  informational   Criteria  fully  met.   Designers  may  provide   video  and  multimedia   synchronized  text  and  audio   productions  which  support  the   equivalents  in  Macromedia  Flash   agencys  mission,  regardless  of   8  using  one  of  four  methods.  For   format,  that  contain  speech  or   more  information  on  captioning,   other  audio  information   please  go  to  the  Macromedia   necessary  for  the  comprehension   Accessibility  Resource  Center   of  the  content,  shall  be  open  or   closed  captioned.     (d)  Sufficient  information  about  a   Criteria  fully  met.       user  interface  element  including   the  identity,  operation  and  state   of  the  element  shall  be  available   to  Assistive  Technology.  When  an   image  represents  a  program   element,  the  information   conveyed  by  the  image  must  also   be  available  in  text.     (e)  Display  or  presentation  of   Criteria  fully  met.       alternate  text  presentation  or   audio  descriptions  shall  be  user-­‐   h t t p : / / w w w . s k i t s a n o s . c o m   Page  14    
  15. 15. Adobe  Flex  Accessibility  Evaluation   March  1,  2007   selectable  unless  permanent.       Section  1194.31  Functional  Performance  Criteria     Voluntary  Product  Accessibility  Template   Criteria   Supporting  Features   Remarks  and  explanations   (a)  At  least  one  mode  of   Criteria  partially  met:         operation  and  information   Macromedia  Flash  8  may  be   retrieval  that  does  not  require   used  to  create  content  that   user  vision  shall  be  provided,  or   does  not  require  user  vision;   support  for  assistive  technology   however,  some  vision  is   used  by  people  who  are  blind  or   required  to  manipulate  the   visually  impaired  shall  be   Stage  and  Timeline  in   provided.     Macromedia  Flash  8.     (b)  At  least  one  mode  of   Criteria  fully  met.       operation  and  information   retrieval  that  does  not  require   visual  acuity  greater  than  20/70   shall  be  provided  in  audio  and   enlarged  print  output  working   together  or  independently,  or   support  for  assistive  technology   used  by  people  who  are  visually   impaired  shall  be  provided.     (c)  At  least  one  mode  of   Criteria  fully  met.       operation  and  information   retrieval  that  does  not  require   user  hearing  shall  be  provided,  or   support  for  assistive  technology   used  by  people  who  are  deaf  or   hard  of  hearing  shall  be  provided.     (d)  Where  audio  information  is   Criteria  fully  met.       important  for  the  use  of  a   product,  at  least  one  mode  of   operation  and  information   retrieval  shall  be  provided  in  an   enhanced  auditory  fashion,  or   support  for  assistive  hearing   devices  shall  be  provided.     (e)  At  least  one  mode  of   Criteria  fully  met.       operation  and  information   retrieval  that  does  not  require   user  speech  shall  be  provided,  or   support  for  assistive  technology   used  by  people  with  disabilities   shall  be  provided.       h t t p : / / w w w . s k i t s a n o s . c o m   Page  15    
  16. 16. Adobe  Flex  Accessibility  Evaluation   March  1,  2007   (f)  At  least  one  mode  of  operation   Criteria  fully  met.       and  information  retrieval  that   does  not  require  fine  motor   control  or  simultaneous  actions   and  that  is  operable  with  limited   reach  and  strength  shall  be   provided.       Section  1194.41  Information,  Documentation,  and  Support  -­‐  Detail     Voluntary  Product  Accessibility  Template   Criteria   Supporting  Features   Remarks  and  explanations   (a)  Product  support  documentation   Criteria  partially  met:         provided  to  end-­‐users  shall  be   Help  documentation  in   made  available  in  alternate   Macromedia  Flash  8  is  available  in   formats  upon  request,  at  no   four  general  locations.  First,  help   additional  charge.     documentation  can  be  found  in  the   printed  documentation  that   accompanies  Macromedia  Flash  8.     Second,  help  documentation   identical  to  that  found  in  the   printed  documentation  is  available   in  HTML  format  under  the  Help   menu  item  Using  Flash  in   Macromedia  Flash  8.   Third,  help  documentation  is   available  at  the  Macromedia   website,  at  the  Macromedia  Flash  8   product  documentation  site.   (b)  End-­‐users  shall  have  access  to  a   Criteria  fully  met.   Information  on  the   description  of  the  accessibility  and   accessibility  and   compatibility  features  of  products   compatibility  features  of   in  alternate  formats  or  alternate   Macromedia  products  is   methods  upon  request,  at  no   available  at  the   additional  charge.     Macromedia  Accessibility   Center.   (c)  Support  services  for  products   Criteria  fully  met.       shall  accommodate  the   communication  needs  of  end-­‐users   with  disabilities.       Testing  keyboard  access  in  Flash  and  Flex   Testing  for  keyboard  access  is  probably  the  first  test  that  should  be  performed  when  evaluating  the   accessibility  of  Flash  and  Flex  content  and  applications.  Many  developers  are  not  familiar  with  the  ways     h t t p : / / w w w . s k i t s a n o s . c o m   Page  16    
  17. 17. Adobe  Flex  Accessibility  Evaluation   March  1,  2007   that  users  are  able  to  interact  with  applications  when  using  only  the  keyboard,  so  it  is  important  that   time  is  taken  learn  about  how  keyboard  access  should  work.     For  Windows,  a  useful  resource  is  Microsoft’s  Windows  User  Experience  Guidelines,  and  in  particular  the   section   on   controls   (­‐us/dnwue/html/ch08c.asp).   This   document   provides   detailed   information   about   keyboard   access,   and   is   worth   reading.   In   Flex   and   Flash   components,   keyboard   accessibility   is   designed   into   the   components,   but   for   developers   creating   new   components  or  customizing  controls  it  is  crucial  to  keep  the  expected  keyboard  access  requirements  in   mind.     A  good  starting  point  for  testing  keyboard  access  is  the  following  basic  test  plan:   1. Put  the  mouse  away.  Turn  it  upside  down,  unplug  it,  whatever  it  takes  to  not  use  it.     2. Open  the  application  or  web  page  containing  the  Flash  or  Flex  content.     3. Tab  through  the  application  without  interacting  with  any  controls.  Make  sure  that  you  can   follow  the  focus  visually  and  that  it  follows  an  expected  path.     If  you  have  difficulty  locating  the  focus,  this  is  a  problem  that  needs  to  be  addressed.  Tools  such   as  Inspect32   (­‐a707-­‐ 460a-­‐bf21-­‐1373316e13f0)  can  be  used  to  assist  testers  in  locating  the  focus  when  it  is  hard  to   see  –  this  is  just  to  assist  in  development;  don’t  expect  your  users  to  use  this  tool.     4. Tab   in   reverse.   Shift+tab   is   used   to   tab   backwards   through   the   tab   order.   Occasionally   there   are   issues  in  tabbing  that  are  made  apparent  by  reverse  tabbing.     5. Tab  to  specific  controls  and  check  the  behavior  of  each.  For  example,  if  you  tab  to  a  ComboBox   in   a   Flex   1.5   application   make   sure   that   the   behavior   of   the   ComboBox   matches   your   expectations   and   the   documentation   for   the   ComboBox   keyboard   navigation   at       6. The  big  challenge  here  is  when  you  are  using  controls  that  you’ve  made  in  a  Flash  movie  (e.g.  a   simple   tab   navigator,   made   from   scratch   and   possibly   without   much   attention   to   proper   keyboard   support)   or   in   a   custom   control   for   Flex   —   make   sure   that   when   you   make   or   significantly   modify   a   control   that   you   determine   what   type   of   control   it   is   and   make   it   conform   to  expected  keyboard  conventions.     7. If  the  Flash  content  has  specific  keyboard  shortcuts  to  perform  functions,  make  sure  that  these   don’t  interfere  with  the  keystrokes  defined  for  specific  controls.  Most  keystroke  conflicts  that  I   see  occur  when  a  screen  reader  is  running,  so  that  will  be  a  necessary  testing  step  for  another   phase  of  testing.   Tab  order  IS  important     The   tab   order   is   really,   really   important,   because   it   not   only   affects   the   logical   usage   order   of   the   application’s   controls,   but   it   also   affects   the   reading   order   for   assistive   technologies.   This   means   that     h t t p : / / w w w . s k i t s a n o s . c o m   Page  17    
  18. 18. Adobe  Flex  Accessibility  Evaluation   March  1,  2007   you   need   to   set   the   tab   order   for   everything   that   will   be   read   unless   your   application   is   very   simple   and   only  has  object  in  a  single  vertical  or  horizontal  group.     Additional  notes   Primary  tests  we  had  in  mind  to  pass  was  to  help  us  figure  out  behaviors  of  different  screen  readers  and   text   browsers   that   can   be   used   in   tandem   with   screen   readers   in   case   if   screen   reader   itself   does   not   have   capabilities   to   navigate   page/web   application   on   generic   browsers   (Firefox,   Internet   Explorer,   Opera,  Camino,  etc…)  like  it  happened  in  case  with  Thunder.   Another   moment   we   would   like   to   point   your   attention   to   is   that   all   browsers   works   differently   with   screen   readers   like   JAWS.     We   found   for   instance   that   Microsoft   Internet   Explorer   can   perfectly   communicate  with  JAWS  and  basically  whole  Flex  application  works  just  fine,  form  items  are  readable   and  audible,  user  can  easy  navigate  through  UI  with  almost  no  issues.  However,  we  experienced  some   problems   with   Firefox   browser   even   after   special   accessibility   features   as   it   recommended   by   Adobe.   Unfortunately   we   can   not   report   anything   on   Mac   OS   based   browsers   since   we   don’t   have   any   Apple   computers  near  around  to  test.                 h t t p : / / w w w . s k i t s a n o s . c o m   Page  18    
  19. 19. Adobe  Flex  Accessibility  Evaluation   March  1,  2007   Flex  Accessibility  Guidelines   You  create  accessible  content  by  using  accessibility  features  included  with  Flex,  by  taking  advantage  of   ActionScript  designed  to  implement  accessibility,  and  by  following  recommended  design  and   development  practices.  The  following  list  of  recommended  practices  is  not  exhaustive,  but  suggests   common  issues  to  consider.  Depending  on  your  audiences  needs,  additional  requirements  may  arise.     Visually  impaired  users  For  visually  impaired  users,  keep  in  mind  the  following  design   recommendations:     • Design  and  implement  a  logical  tab  order  for  the  tabs.   • Design  the  document  so  that  constant  changes  in  content  do  not  unnecessarily  cause  screen   readers  to  refresh.  For  example,  you  should  group  or  hide  looping  elements.     • Provide  captions  for  narrative  audio.  Be  aware  of  audio  in  your  document  that  might  interfere   with  a  user  being  able  to  listen  to  the  screen  reader.     • Use  percentage  sizing  so  that  your  applications  scale  properly  at  smaller  screen  sizes.  This  allows   users  of  screen  magnifiers  to  see  more  of  your  application  at  one  time.  Also  take  into  account   that  many  visually  impaired  users  run  applications  with  lower  screen  resolutions  than  other   users.   • Ensure  that  foreground  and  background  colors  contrast  sufficiently  to  make  text  readable  for   people  with  low  vision.   • Ensure  that  controls  dont  depend  on  the  use  of  a  specific  pointer  device,  such  as  a  mouse  or   trackball.     • Ensure  that  components  are  accessible  by  keyboard.  All  Flex  components  defined  as  accessible   include  keyboard  navigation.  For  a  list  of  these  components  and  the  available  keyboard   commands  for  each,  see  Accessible  components  and  containers.   Color  blind  users  For  color  blind  users,  ensure  that  color  is  not  the  only  means  of  conveying  information.   Users  with  mobility  impairment  For  users  with  mobility  impairment,  keep  in  mind  the  following  design   recommendations:   • Ensure  that  controls  dont  depend  on  the  use  of  a  specific  pointer  device.   • Ensure  that  components  are  accessible  by  keyboard.  All  Flex  components  defined  as  accessible   include  keyboard  navigation.  For  a  list  of  these  components  and  the  available  keyboard   commands  for  each,  see  Accessible  components  and  containers.   Hearing-­‐impaired  users  For  hearing-­‐impaired  users,  ensure  that  you  add  captions  to  audio  content.     Users  with  cognitive  impairment  For  users  with  cognitive  impairments,  such  as  dyslexia,  keep  in  mind   the  following  design  recommendations:   • Ensure  an  uncluttered,  easy-­‐to-­‐navigate  design.   • Provide  graphical  imagery  that  helps  convey  the  purpose  and  message  of  the  application.  These   graphics  should  enhance,  not  replace,  textual  or  audio  content.   • Provide  more  than  one  method  to  accomplish  common  tasks.       h t t p : / / w w w . s k i t s a n o s . c o m   Page  19    
  20. 20. Adobe  Flex  Accessibility  Evaluation   March  1,  2007   Reviewers   Below  you  will  find  the  list  of  reviewers  participated  in  web  application  accessibility  evaluation  process:     Details   Name   Evgenios  Skitsanos   Affiliated  Company   Skitsanos  Inc   Contact  Details   Phone:  +40-­‐721-­‐834664   Email:   Expertise   Web  Development,  User  Interface  Prototyping,   User  Interface  design,  Usability,  Computer-­‐Human   Interaction   Natural  Languages   English             h t t p : / / w w w . s k i t s a n o s . c o m   Page  20    
  21. 21. Adobe  Flex  Accessibility  Evaluation   March  1,  2007   References     • Web  Content  Accessibility  Guidelines  1.0     <>     • Checklist  for  Web  Content  Accessibility  Guidelines  1.0     <­‐checklist.html>   • Techniques  for  Web  Content  Accessibility  Guidelines  1.0     <­‐TECHS/>   • Evaluating  Web  Sites  for  Accessibility   <>     • Evaluation,  Repair,  and  Transformation  Tools  for  Web  Content  Accessibility     <>     • Selecting  and  Using  Authoring  Tools  for  Web  Accessibility  [draft]   <>   • Review  Teams  for  Evaluating  Web  Site  Accessibility  [draft]   <>   • Adobe  -­‐  Section  508  Explained   <>         h t t p : / / w w w . s k i t s a n o s . c o m   Page  21