Accessibility in the Flash Player…

Posted by on May 14, 2008

I thought that I posted this earlier, but when I went back to reference it, it looks like it didn’t post.

My research into accessibility for Flex custom components continues. This time I have something from Zeus Labs. It documents Josh Tynjala’s same efforts as mine in looking into accessibility. He’s discovered some limitations of the flash player, the article is dated May 5, 2008, so it’s timely and focuses on the current Flash Player 9.

Here is a summary of the article, followed by a link to it:

  • Flash Player isn’t accessible on a Mac. (Probably since it uses the Windows accessibility code for Windows, and it looks like it does not include the Mac version of the same.)
  • AccessibilityProperties class doesn’t support roles. Everything is viewed as an image by a screen reader in Flash, not buttons or lists, or any other role.
  • AccessibilityProperties doesn’t expose the display list hierarchy. Things like TabBar’s don’t display as a tree of objects in an assistive application, but as a list of objects. Whereas a Windows application shows a tab list as a tree of objects.
  • Some accessibility APIs in Flash Player are undocumented. Go to the article for the specifics.

Zeus Labs – Adobe needs to improve accessibility in Flash Player (

What it comes down to is this: While Adobe has definitely improved the Flash Player accessibility, it still isn’t up to the standards of something like an HTML page.

My search continues.