The fate of my Flex accessibility project.

Posted by on August 25, 2008

Ok, so some of you might be wondering what happened to the accessibility project that I was going to be working on several months back. Well…

It turns out that the major stumbling block here was the wmode tag that was being used. It needed to be set to wmode=opaque, and it was set to wmode=transparent. Why? Well, wmode transparent as most of you know, allows for Javascript dropdowns to flow over the Flash Player, which we have on many of our client sites. Unfortunately, how it does this is it makes the Flash Player effectively transparent (go figure) to the web browser’s DOM. So the web browser doesn’t take it into account when drawing things on screen. This has the added effect of making the screen readers that attempt to read the contents of the Flash Player either not see it at all, or act erratically when they do start to read it. Nice eh?

So, setting wmode=opaque, the five second change, solved most of the problems with our accessibility, so there was no need for me to do the research and my project on it was cancelled. I do still think that there was a lot to learn for everyone on accessibility, and that the sources out there do cover it, but not all in one place. We’re under tight deadlines though, so any saved time is taken by other things. Considering it meant that I didn’t have to work a weekend or too late, I was totally cool with that.

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