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Use of Flash on HP.com

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HP.com policy on the inclusion of Flash

HP.com employs Flash movies to deliver multimedia presentations that reinforce concepts or messages that are being conveyed on the site. In developing these presentations, we have endeavored to create content that is usable for everyone. To this end, we have provided links to equivalent HTML-only content with decorative animation removed. Depending on the setup of a given system this content may be more usable than the Flash movies.

These Flash movies were developed with the use of Flash MX, which, according to Macromedia, contains accessibility features. We have conducted rigorous accessibility testing and made every possible effort to ensure accessibility of the Flash movies. However, we found the following limitations:

  • Tabbing around the Flash pages is difficult
  • Certain buttons are not labelled
  • Some pictures lack textual description

Limitations of Flash MX

Although it is our goal to offer the same content to everyone, the technology available still has limitations. At this time the limitations of Flash MX authoring tool and the Flash 6 player are such that

  • The Flash 6 player (version 6,0,29,0) does not support accessibility properties specified via Actionscript
  • The Flash MX authoring tool does not allow for accessibility properties to be set dynamically using ActionScript. These properties must be set statically at time of authoring.
  • There is limited ability to change the focus of the assistive tools when multiple Flash movies are presented in a single page
  • There is incomplete keyboard access, including an inability to use forms entirely via keyboard

Assistive technology support for Flash

Another limitation that affects the accessibility of Flash for our users is the support for flash in assistive tools. At this time, Flash support is provided in

  • Jaws 4.5
  • Window Eyes 4.2

In addition, the support for Flash in these assistive technologies is limited and often assistive technology users will have a difficult time utilizing Flash movies that were created despite the authors best efforts to make the movies accessible. The HP.com team recommends utilizing the HTML-only content alternatives if you find this to be the case.

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