United States Department of Veterans Affairs
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Creating Accessible Flash Course

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Creating Accessible Flash Course – Hiding Flash

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To create accessible Flash, you must ensure that some elements are not exposed to assistive technology (AT). But knowing how to hide elements from AT is not enough to create a truly accessible product. It is more important to be able to identify what, when and how much to hide. This may require you to make judgment calls about the purpose of an application, the intent of the designer and the perspective of the user. It also requires a solid understanding of how Flash interacts with AT.

In this lesson, you will learn when it is appropriate or necessary to hide all or part of a Flash application from AT. You will learn how users with disabilities are affected when Flash elements are not hidden appropriately. The technical part of this lesson explains how to hide Flash applications from AT, how to hide individual Flash elements from AT, how to hide child objects from AT and how to limit disruptive looping in Flash.

Important Caveat about Hiding Flash

When you use the procedures provided in this lesson to hide Flash, you are preventing applications or elements from being exposed to AT through Microsoft Active Accessibility (MSAA); this creates a more accessible product for screen reader and screen magnifier users. This hiding process does not hide the applications or elements from all users. Users with photosensitive epilepsy and users who are color blind can still see them, and users of other types of AT can still interact with them. Even "hidden" applications and objects must comply with Section 508 requirements for interoperability, consistent use, flicker, color and contrast.

Select Next for an example in which too much is exposed to a screen reader.

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