The latest in our Flex-related series of tutorials focuses on something that all web designers and developers ought to embrace: accessibility.
Author Toby Tremayne (a specialist in advanced development and data driven interaction design) begins by giving us a clear idea of what accessibility is, and why it matters. He then goes on to outline the four major types of user-impairment (visual impairment, dyslexia, motor disabilities, and cognitive disabilities) that are most likely to affect accessibility and present challenges to designers and developers.
Shifting the conversation specifically to Flex apps, Toby shows us how to enable accessibility by modifying the Flex configuration. He outlines the accessible components in Flex before touching on the issue of screen readers, fonts and colours, and keyboard access.
In concluding the piece, Toby suggests that accessibility is a task worth tackling right from the very beginning of application building. He also mentions a few websites that are useful for further reading on the subject.
I'd like to mention; Dyslexia is considered a cognitive disability or more specifically a Special Learning Disability. I think somewhere along the lines it got muddled-up unless of course it was meant to mean focusing on a specific subgroup?
Usually it is considered; visual, hearing, physical, speech, cognitive and neurological or words to that effect, e.g. visual, hearing, mobility, cognitive. Looks like "hearing" got missed off and swapped with dyslexia. I could be wrong though.
I can't agree entirely, dyslexia is an intellectual disability, that's not to say their impacted in how smart they are, it's simply a case of an inhibition which affects their learning or process of learning. When I studied Health and Social Care at college, the common way of bracketing disabilities was into four sections... Physical, Intellectual, Emotional, Social (PIES). Physical disabilities include the obvious issues people have like vision loss, auditory problems, motor function impairments etc. Intellectual disabilities include cognitive issues, dyslexia, lingual problems (etc). Emotional disabilities include psychological disorders, ADHD, even stuff like rage issues or stress. Social disabilities include stuff like being shy or reclusive, overly privacy concious (to the point of paranoia)... general problems which may inhibit interaction on sites. I am all for accessibility training and articles, but there's a lot more than the article put across (generally it's the same obvious conditions). An interesting read all the same, I just like to point out that we all too often forget about the minor factors which can influence our users