Captivate Accessibility Hints

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Written by: Jonathan Avila

Adobe’s Captivate application allows one to create Flash based interactive demos and presentations. PowerPoint materials can also be converted in Flash using Captivate. Captivate has a number of accessibility features in version 3 and 4 although there are some issues that Adobe is working on.

Project Wide Accessibility

Ensure that the “enable accessibility” checkbox is checked under the File > Publish settings in order for accessibility to be exposed to assistive technologies.

Slide Accessibility Text

Each slide can contain accessibility text. This can be added by going to the slide properties, activating the Accessibility button and entering text in the text field.

Closed Captioning

Closed captioning can be added to all audio files. From the record audio dialog, closed caption text can be added under the Caption tab. The playback bar contains a CC button which allows the closed captioning to be displayed or hidden.

Button Accessibility

Text buttons can be made accessible. The text that appears on-screen becomes the button’s accessible name. To make the buttons keyboard accessible, the “Set Keystroke: Select Keys” button should be used and the keystroke of “enter” should be set in the object’s properties dialog. Other shortcuts can be assigned but enter/space will then not work to activate the button after tabbing to it. The keystroke of “enter” can be assigned to multiple buttons and the button with focus will be activated when Enter is pressed.

Shortcut Keystrokes

Shortcut keystrokes can be assigned to click boxes and buttons. Use the “set keystroke: Select Keys” button to set the shortcut keystroke. Audio recordings can be associated with click boxes and thus authors can associate descriptive text to be announced when a shortcut keystroke is pressed to assist users with visual impairments.

Text from PowerPoint

Much of the text from PowerPoint will come through as text in Microsoft Active Accessibility (MSAA) and will be exposed to users of screen readers. Currently there isn’t a method to change the order or edit this text.

Quiz Questions

There is some accessibility support for quiz questions. Simple types of questions such as true and false and multiple choice provide accessible names for the radio buttons and the text of the question appears as text in the accessible MSAA structure and is exposed to screen readers.

Accessibility Differences Between Captivate 3 and 4

The text in the “text caption” object does not show up as accessible text in Captivate 3 but does in Captivate 4. In addition, it is not possible to set accessible text for specific images in Captivate 3 but it is possible in Captivate 4.

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