Adobe Flash can often get a bad rap from the standards community, but the reality is that there are many situations where Flash is the most appropriate tool for the job. As well as just being the best technology for some applications, the Flash Player also enjoys near ubiquity in in common desktop browsers. So why then, in 2007, do we still have obstacles in our way to making Flash content accessible?
Accessibility and Flash expert Niqui Merret has compiled an Accessibility in Flash bug and issue list, detailing the current issues as she sees them in her work. Comments, suggestions for the list and workarounds to the listed items are solicited.
Particularly interesting are the items on the list which depend solely on browser manufacturers to fix. Niqui writes:
No tabbing between Flash and HTML elements: This occurs in plug-in based browsers such as Firefox, Safari, Opera, etc. This is not an issue in Internet Explorer. This needs to be solved by the Browser manufactures.
It would be great to see Mozilla, Apple and Opera follow Microsoft’s lead in addressing this basic usability issue, or at least let us all know what technical limitation is preventing them from being able to do so. The more we talk, the more we learn, and the more we learn the more we can do to solve these problems. This is 2007, and about time we made some serious inroads in addressing these basic issues.