Accessibility and Flex: we can do better.

By default, Flex Builder creates inaccessible SWF files.

Bad decision. This needs to change.

Enabling accessibility features for The GAE SWF Project resulted in an 8KB file size increase in the SWF file. I can live with that. Creating inaccessible SWF files to save a couple of KB is no savings at all.

The Flex accessibility overview page feels woefully outdated and mention Adobe Flash Player 7. We're on 9 now. Let's update these, guys!

It also reads more like marketing talk then factual information for developers with phrases like "designers and developers can create powerful, exciting, and engaging experiences on the web that are accessible to all" and "it's never been easier to design accessible Rich Internet Applications." Let's cut out the marketing talk and concentrate on the facts. If we feel that we need to dilute or detract from the facts with marketing talk, maybe we need to concentrate on changing the facts.

The Accessibility Best Practices for Flex document, on the other hand, does an admirable job of disseminating important information that is useful for developers.

It is also important to note that the accessibility features of the Flex components have been optimized for use with JAWS on Windows and that users will need to install additional JAWS scripts to enable these features. Why aren't these scripts included by default in JAWS?

The best practices document is very useful but I feel that we would benefit for a short, succinct and no bullshit summary to quickly inform developers on the state of accessibility in Flex. Something along the lines of:

The State of Accessibility in Flex

Finally, bookmark the Accessibility Resource Center on and keep checking back for new articles (and bug Adobe if you don't see any!) :)