Friday, 27 July 2007

Voice Activation and Flash

Just a quick one, I just thought I'd post a note for accessible Flash developers regarding Voice activation software. Not everyone has had the chance to test using this software so This may be helpful to a few.

Flash applications are typically tricky terrain for Voice activation users (think Dragon Naturally Speaking (DNS)). The most common voice commands for HTML pages such as "link" and "image" don't work. In HTML these commands will identify the links or forms on the page and put a little number next to them. By speaking this number you can follow the link or activate the form control. Neat.

Flash reveals the controls via MSAA but Dragon does not seem to have a method of displaying them accurately yet. In fact it seems to struggle with matching links with numbers in simple CSS.

For the time being voice activation users can either rely on the mouse grid method of navigation (very slow) or spoken keyboard commands such as "tab" and "enter". this allows the user to methodically move through the Flash controls and as Flash doesn't tend to have so many links etc. this should be fine. The one thing I haven't been able to test with the guys at the Shaw Trust yet is whether DNS is capable of accessing Flash controls that are "below the fold" either because of a browser scrollbar or a Flash scrollbar. Once I get that info I'll pass it on.

Sorry for the lack of detail/illustrations but I just wanted to share this info before I forgot all about it. If you want some clarification feel free to leave a comment or send me a mail.

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I`m trying to voice input into flash.
For instance, when I say "A", the letter "A" shows up in flash.
It does not need to work online, jut locally on my mac.
Does anyone have any idea where to start?

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