Focus issues with Flash in Firefox

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Gary Bishop

Jun 8, 2007, 2:24:20 PM6/8/07
The accessibility of Flash in Firefox suffers from the requirement to
click on the movie with the mouse in order to give it focus. For those
who are also troubled by this, I have written about a work around on
my blog

This hack also cures the inability of Flash applications to handle
right mouse clicks. It only works on Firefox as far as I know but I
think it could probably be made cross platform.


Aug 3, 2007, 4:53:40 AM8/3/07
As I comment on gary blog his solution solve only part of the problem,
we still can't focus in and out a flash movie without using the mouse
(with the tab key). Is there any plan to resolve this problem?

Aaron Leventhal

Aug 3, 2007, 9:02:21 AM8/3/07
Mozilla hired a contractor to do the work, who stopped before finishing. Now
it's too late in the release cycle to take the change, especially since there is
no one available and qualified to do the work.

I will push hard to get Mozilla Corporation to put someone on it after Firefox 3.

- Aaron

Aaron Leventhal

Aug 3, 2007, 9:03:32 AM8/3/07
Actually, when post-Firefox 3 planning starts, the more people who raise this as
an important issue the more likely it will be fixed. Not in bugs, but in the
newsgroups or by calling into planning meetings.

I believe it is the worst gap in Firefox's 508 compliance.

- Aaron

Andrew Kirkpatrick

Aug 3, 2007, 9:07:43 AM8/3/07
to Aaron Leventhal,
> I will push hard to get Mozilla Corporation to put someone on
> it after Firefox 3.

Aaron, you do that and I'll push on this side. I agree that this is a
major issue for keyboard users.

Andrew Kirkpatrick

Corporate Accessibility Engineering Manager

Adobe Systems

Aug 3, 2007, 10:05:57 AM8/3/07
Even if it's after firefox 3 it's still a great new to know that it's
actually considered like a bug and that it will be correct one day.

In the past there is a javascript/actionscript solution described
here : but now the link is dead and the
last time i look at it it doesn't work anymore in firefox mac.

The solution was to put a link just before and just after the flash
object. When this link received focus it move it to the flash object
then when the last element in the flash received focus a javascript
function is activated to move the focus out the link just after the
flash object.

Aaron Leventhal

Aug 3, 2007, 10:41:04 AM8/3/07
Yes, it's a bug, and as the a11y module owner I'm embarrassed by it. Clearly it
should be possible to make Flash content fully accessible in Firefox. It was
hard enough to get someone working on it, and then he disappeared without a
word. Frustrating!

It's a bit complex in Mozilla because of cross platform issues with plugins. The
plugin API has to be changed in a way friendly to 4 kinds of plugins. And, as
Andrew said, work also needs to be done on the plugin side.

- Aaron

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