Flash Professional 8 Essential Training
Illustration by Bruce Heavin

Flash Professional 8 Essential Training

with Shane Rebenschied

Video: Making Flash content accessible

[Male Voice:] Over the past few years, Macromedia has been making advances and making Flash content accessible to the disabled. Flash 8 has an Accessibility panel that will allow you to assign titles and descriptions to the various items inside your Flash movie. Those titles and descriptions will then be read by screen readers for visually impaired users. The first part of this, which you saw earlier, is being able to assign a title and description to your entire document. You can do that within your document settings which you can easily open up by pressing Control J, or Command J on Macintosh.
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  1. 31s
    1. Welcome
      31s
  2. 17m 42s
    1. File types
      3m 12s
    2. Bitmaps vs. vectors
      4m 33s
    3. Flash 8 vs. Flash Professional 8
      5m 36s
    4. What's new in Flash Professional 8
      4m 21s
  3. 24m 35s
    1. The Start page
      1m 36s
    2. The default workspace
      6m 48s
    3. Interface management
      4m 14s
    4. Essential preferences
      7m 7s
    5. Finding help
      4m 50s
  4. 1h 2m
    1. Drawing with the Pencil tool
      9m 57s
    2. Modifying lines
      2m 53s
    3. Drawing with the Pen tool
      3m 19s
    4. The Oval and Rectangle tools
      7m 58s
    5. The Free Transform tool
      2m 45s
    6. Modifying and optimizing shapes
      4m 25s
    7. The Brush tool
      2m 2s
    8. The Lasso tool
      1m 28s
    9. The Eyedropper tool
      2m 52s
    10. Using the Color Mixer and creating gradients
      12m 26s
    11. Adding and importing colors to the Color Swatches panel
      3m 44s
    12. Grouping and ungrouping objects
      4m 14s
    13. Object-based undo
      4m 17s
  5. 27m 32s
    1. Movie properties and frame rate
      7m 51s
    2. Timeline, frames, and keyframes
      5m 3s
    3. Deleting, copying, and reversing frames
      3m 17s
    4. Testing movies
      4m 4s
    5. Frame by frame animation
      7m 17s
  6. 28m 36s
    1. Shape tweening
      9m 36s
    2. Shape hinting
      5m 50s
    3. Shape tweening text
      6m 4s
    4. Editing multiple frames
      3m 48s
    5. Animating gradients
      3m 18s
  7. 23m 35s
    1. Creating Symbols
      10m 2s
    2. Alternate methods for creating and editing Symbols
      5m 31s
    3. Working with the Library
      8m 2s
  8. 45m 48s
    1. Basic motion tweens
      5m 57s
    2. Tweening effects
      3m 50s
    3. Editing multiple frames
      2m 47s
    4. Motion Guides
      15m 7s
    5. Motion tweening text
      9m 32s
    6. Easing
      3m 10s
    7. Custom easing controls (Pro only)
      5m 25s
  9. 5m 9s
    1. Adding, editing, and removing Timeline Effects
      5m 9s
  10. 14m 49s
    1. Masking
      7m 5s
    2. Animated masks
      7m 44s
  11. 27m 43s
    1. Text overview
      12m 37s
    2. Text options
      6m 22s
    3. Aliasing options
      5m 53s
    4. Spell checking, and Find and Replace
      2m 51s
  12. 29m 44s
    1. Importing and compressing
      9m 58s
    2. Bitmap sequence
      3m 45s
    3. Bitmap fills
      3m 28s
    4. Tracing bitmaps
      10m 17s
    5. Changing opacity of bitmaps
      2m 16s
  13. 11m 36s
    1. Working with Filters
      5m 58s
    2. Working with Blend Modes
      5m 38s
  14. 25m 47s
    1. Button types
      4m 47s
    2. Basic buttons
      10m 52s
    3. Rollover button
      2m 15s
    4. Rollover button with down state
      2m 50s
    5. Invisible button
      5m 3s
  15. 32m 39s
    1. What are Movie Clips?
      12m 21s
    2. Modifying Movie Clip instances
      8m 32s
    3. Animated rollover buttons
      11m 46s
  16. 3h 16m
    1. Time-based vs. user-based actions
      1m 52s
    2. Actions panel
      3m 6s
    3. Script Assist
      3m 24s
    4. Stop on frame
      6m 54s
    5. GetURL
      13m 16s
    6. Slide show
      26m 19s
    7. Creating a pop-up menu pt. 1
      6m 31s
    8. Creating a pop-up menu pt. 2
      16m 59s
    9. Creating a pop-up menu pt. 3
      17m 31s
    10. Scrolling text
      13m 23s
    11. Controlling Movie Clips
      9m 40s
    12. What are Scenes?
      3m 12s
    13. Loading SWFs
      20m 2s
    14. Loading JPEGs, GIFs, and PNGs
      8m 12s
    15. What is a preloader?
      1m 20s
    16. Building a simple preloader pt. 1
      9m 17s
    17. Building a simple preloader pt. 2
      18m 30s
    18. Building a simple preloader pt. 3
      14m 14s
    19. Behaviors
      2m 59s
  17. 6m 39s
    1. What are Components?
      2m 5s
    2. The UI Scrollbar Component
      4m 34s
  18. 36m 11s
    1. Importing sounds
      6m 7s
    2. Supported formats
      1m 28s
    3. Sound on buttons
      8m 45s
    4. Music on/off button
      19m 51s
  19. 16m 54s
    1. Importing and compressing video
      14m 44s
    2. Using the Flash 8 Video Encoder to compress video (Pro only)
      2m 10s
  20. 47m 33s
    1. Publishing content
      17m 7s
    2. Creating a projector
      3m 17s
    3. FS commands
      12m 35s
    4. The Bandwidth Profiler and simulating a download
      5m 50s
    5. Generating a size report
      2m 54s
    6. The Flash Player Detection Kit
      5m 50s
  21. 5m 32s
    1. Making Flash content accessible
      5m 32s
  22. 3m 45s
    1. Using the built-in templates
      3m 45s
  23. 21s
    1. Goodbye
      21s

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Watch the Online Video Course Flash Professional 8 Essential Training
11h 32m Beginner Sep 14, 2005

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Flash Professional 8 Essential Training with Shane Rebenschied teaches new users how to use the drawing tools, swatches, and color panels in Flash 8. The course walks learners through animation processes, and how to integrate type, graphics, audio, and video. Shane teaches you how to use ActionScript for common projects such as creating slide shows, pop-up menus, and scrolling text. The training ends with instruction on how to publish to the Web or CD-ROM.

Subject:
Web
Software:
Flash Professional
Author:
Shane Rebenschied

Making Flash content accessible

[Male Voice:] Over the past few years, Macromedia has been making advances and making Flash content accessible to the disabled. Flash 8 has an Accessibility panel that will allow you to assign titles and descriptions to the various items inside your Flash movie. Those titles and descriptions will then be read by screen readers for visually impaired users. The first part of this, which you saw earlier, is being able to assign a title and description to your entire document. You can do that within your document settings which you can easily open up by pressing Control J, or Command J on Macintosh.

In the Document Properties Dialog box you can specify a title and description which will be read by screen readers. So were I creating, for example, a Website about tea I might put the title as Tea Website, and then the description would be, "a website all about tea". And then those items would be read by the screen reader when the Website was first reached. Then I can also add separate titles and descriptions for each of the elements within my site.

I'm going to unlock the buttons and slides layer in this example, the slideshow that you constructed earlier, and I'm going to select the first slide in the slideshow. Then I'm going to choose Window, Other Panels, Accessibility. Notice how, when I have a Bitmap selected, Flash tells me that the current selection, a bitmap graphic cannot have accessibility applied to it. Flash wants to assign accessibility options to symbols on the Stage.

So, when I'm creating content that is to be made accessible, I want to make sure that the graphics that I import onto my Stage are inside of symbols. So with that graphic on the Stage selected, I'm going to press F8, select a movie clip symbol, enter a name of Tea Graphic 1 and then click OK. Now once that has been made into a symbol, in my Accessibility panel I have quite a few options now. They are by default, Make Object Accessible, as well as make Child Objects Accessible, which means any other symbols inside of this symbol would also be made accessible.

Then, when both those options are check marked, I can also apply a name and a description for this graphic that will be read by the screen reader. So I can give this a name of "A Picture of a Tea Cup". Now when the name that you're assigning to a symbol on the Stage is descriptive enough you don't have to enter in a description as well. You can simply leave the name as it is. I would continue doing this throughout my entire document.

Now text inside of your Flash document, unless you specify otherwise, is also automatically read by a screen reader. Also when you're assigning names and descriptions to items that are clickable for example, my next slide button on the Stage, you should also emphasize that it is clickable in the name or the description. So if I click once on my button on the Stage, I'm going to give it a name of "Right Button" and then in the description I'm going to say "click to view the next image".

So when the viewer comes to this Website, if they have a screen reader, it'll read both the name and the description and then because of the description for that button I stated clicking on it will actually activate something. So the purpose is that I'm trying to make a descriptive comment for the item that I have selected. Now beyond making titles and descriptions for the various content that's on your Stage so that a screen reader can actually read through all that content, you also have to make sure that you have Accessibility turned on for the document as a whole.

To do that simply make sure that you don't have anything selected. And then in the Accessibility panel make sure it's set to be on by defaultand make sure that the check boxes are next to Make Movie Accessible, Make Child Objects Accessible, and Auto label. With those three options on the text in your document will be automatically read by a screen reader and the movie will also be accessible as a whole. If you don't want particular text to be read by a screen reader, you can simply select the text, convert it into a symbol, with plain text selected, as you can see in the accessibility panel, it mentions that there are no accessibility options that I can alter for it.

But if I take my text and insert it into a symbol in this case, I'm just going to call this Slide Text 1 and click OK I could then uncheck Make Object Accessible and, in that text within that symbol, will not be read. Again, when I uncheck or check Make Object Accessible, that's per item. Notice, when I click back on the slide that I added that option to earlier, it still is set to make object accessible. So Flash allows you to easily turn accessibility on for some items and off for others, as well as add names and descriptions that are read by screen readers for visually impaired users.

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