Internet Accessibility / Usability Resources F-W

Last updated: May 27, 2016

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Flash Accessibility Only on Windows?

Last updated: March 6, 2015

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Making Flash accessible is a good thing. However, accessible Flash is not perceivable by screen-reader users if they don't use Windows. If a screen-reader user needs information that is contained in a Flash presentation, that user needs to be on Windows. Oops.

Everett Zufelt (@ezufelt) brought this to my attention on Twitter today shortly after I shared news from @awkawk about Flash presentations: "Accessible Flash Presentation How To".

Freedom of Choice

The power of the Web is in its universality. Access by everyone regardless of disability is an essential aspect.

That's a famous quote from Tim Berners-Lee, W3C Director and inventor of the World Wide Web. Nowhere does it say "works only with one operating system". Users of assistive technology might want a choice.

The really crucial point here is freedom of choice – people with disabilities should have a freedom of choice when choosing their operating system. After all, sighted people have the choice.

As someone who doesn't use a screen reader, I had long thought that making Flash accessible would solve most issues around Flash for blind or low-vision computer users. Fortunately, expert users of screen readers are on the Internet clarifying matters and clearing up misunderstandings. I appreciate Zufelt setting me straight – and now you – on this issue. Making Flash accessible only helps some of the users.

Having a Choice

What can be done? I won't go into design issues about choosing Flash. Right now, there is a lot of Flash out there and some of it was made accessible. How can screen reader users not on Windows perceive that Flash material?

You still have time to sign the petition from the Mac-cessibility network asking Adobe to commit to accessibility for Flash on Macs. When that petition is presented to Adobe, perhaps they'll consider doing the same thing for Linux.

In his "New approaches to Flash and Java accessibility in the browser on Windows", Marco Zehe expresses hope that "the better support in NVDA for Flash should also be an incentive to Adobe to make Flash accessible on other platforms such as Linux and Mac."

Let's hope that more people in Flash classes ask about accessibility – and on which platforms. People must keep asking these questions so that the outstanding accessibility issues are addressed. This is also an opportunity for software producers to become industry leaders by addressing accessibility routinely from Day 1 of development.

Those who are blind in this matter are not the users, but the ones who are developing software with inaccessible features.

PS I snipped Tim Berners-Lee's quote from the pages of W3C's Web Accessibility Initiative.

Epilepsy

Last updated: May 26, 2016

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  • Abilities Network seeing abilities not disabilities. Our mission is to challenge the community to acknowledge the value and equality of people of all abilities. [Maryland]
  • Abilities Network and Epilepsy Foundation of the Chesapeake Region: Epiilepsy Services
  • Animals with Epilepsy (for animal health professionals) Clinical Neurology in Small Animals – Localization, Diagnosis and Treatment, International Veterinary Information Service
  • Epilepsy Association of Central Florida (EACF)
  • Epilepsy Foundation of America The Epilepsy Foundation of America® (merged with the Epilepsy Therapy Project) is the national voluntary health agency dedicated solely to the welfare of the more than 2 million people with epilepsy in the U.S. and their families. The organization works to ensure that people with seizures are able to participate in all life experiences; to improve how people with epilepsy are perceived, accepted and valued in society; and to promote research for a cure. In addition to programs conducted at the national level, epilepsy clients throughout the U.S. are served by 48 Epilepsy Foundation affiliates around the country.
  • Epilepsy.com offers comprehensive, medically approved consumer information about epilepsy and seizures and is the trusted source for millions of people who seek reliable information about epilepsy.
  • Assistance / Service Dogs Canada's Guide to Working Dogs provides contact information and descriptions of many assistance dog organizations across Canada. [Canada]
  • Seizure Assistance Dog from 4 Paws for Ability
  • Seizure Dogs Information from the The Epilepsy Foundation of America®
  • Flickering content or high contrast oscillating patterns may trigger Photosensitive Epilepsy, an article from Juicy Studio about the need to avoid flickering Web content, using photosensitive epilepsy as the basis for discussion.
  • Photosensitivity and Seizures Information from the The Epilepsy Foundation of America®
  • Temporal Lobe Epilepsy is epilepsy that is characterized by abnormal electrical activity in the temporal lobe of the brain. This activity does not cause grand mal seizures; rather, it causes unusual behaviors and patterns of cognition.
  • Hypergraphia, a driving compulsion to write (or create in another media such as painting, blogging, etc.).