Macromedia Flash Accessibility Section 508 Compliance : Macromedia Brings Accessibility to Macromedia Flash Using Microsoft Active Accessibility.
Macromedia today announced accessibility support in both the Macromedia Flash MX development software and Macromedia Flash Player 6. The player will include support for Microsoft Active Accessibility, which will enable people with disabilities to interact with Macromedia Flash content and applications using accessibility aids such as screen readers. Macromedia Flash MX simplifies the creation of accessible content by enabling the addition of descriptive text to rich Internet content and applications. According to Section 508 guidelines, all federal agencies are required by law to make all content and programs offered on their Internet and intranet sites accessible.
"Macromedia is committed to ensuring our products can be used to deliver great experiences to all people, including those with disabilities. We built core Microsoft accessibility technology directly into the player to ensure this crucial issue was addressed," said Kevin Lynch, chief software architect, Macromedia. "Macromedia has a corporate initiative to support accessible solutions across our tools so that our developers can deliver content and applications that both meet federal guidelines and are available to people with disabilities."
"Microsoft Active Accessibility was specifically designed to simplify the development of products such as Macromedia Flash Player to ensure that they easily interoperate with accessibility aids to deliver accessible content and applications," said Madelyn Bryant McIntire, group manager, Accessible Technology Group, Microsoft Corp. "Microsoft builds accessibility into our platform to let software developers quickly bring accessible solutions to the marketplace."
Macromedia Flash MX provides a simple, one-step procedure for selecting items within content and applications and adding descriptive text. When that content passes through to Macromedia Flash Player, it sends that descriptive text to an Active Accessibility client such as Window Eyes from GW Micro.
Microsoft Active Accessibility provides a standard means for client software to communicate with assistive technologies. It also delivers an identifiable standard to developers of assistive technologies, so they can include Macromedia Flash support into tools for people with disabilities.
"WGBH Interactive is committed to creating engaging and accessible content for the web," said Peter Pinch, director of technology, interactive content, WGBH. "Using Macromedia Flash MX, we can now build in accessibility for Macromedia Flash content, and provide exciting interactive content for our entire audience."
Macromedia provides advice and tips on creating accessible online content using its tools, clients, and servers in its Accessibility Resource Center. Developers, designers, and managers may visit the site to learn about accessibility standards such as Section 508, how to create an accessible Macromedia Flash movie, or how to properly mark up a form in Macromedia Dreamweaver. Along with the improvements to Macromedia products, this information helps designers to create the most exciting, engaging, and accessible content on the web.
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