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Tip #8 | Screen Reader Welcome Message

Because there are not that many accessible Flash sites out there yet, it is helpful to add a small Welcome Message for screen reader users to a Flash site or a Flash application. This can be a small hidden text field, that is given the tabIndex of 1, so it is picked up first.

Because of Flash’ dynamic nature, it might be hard for screen reader users to detect any changes on a Flash screen after it has updated. These changes mostly occur after a button is pressed or other user action in Flash. In order for the screen reader JAWS to start reading from the top again, CTRL + Home can be pressed. This can be put in the screen reader welcome message. An example:

Welcome to the <insert title of the website here> website. Use the up and down arrow keys to navigate this Flash site with a screen reader. Press Enter or the Space Bar to select the buttons. Press CTRl + Home to scan each Flash screen from the top for changes after <insert button here>.

A welcome message like this alerts screen reader users that this Flash application has been made accessible, and serves as a reminder that the content might change. It can be tailored to the specific Flash site. For a quiz, for example, you can alert the user to press CTRl + Home ‘for changes after pressing the next button’.

To read all the tips, select ‘Flash Accessibility Tips’ on the side bar.

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