Techniques for WCAG 2.0

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FLASH11: Providing a longer text description of an object


This technique relates to:

User Agent and Assistive Technology Support Notes

See User Agent Support for Flash for general information on user agent support.


The objective of this technique is to a provide longer, more detailed textual information for an image than would be suitable for the image's accessible name. An accessible button is provided adjacent to the image that displays a new panel containing the image's long description text.


Example 1: Making a hidden description visible on request

In this example, an image containing statistical data is shown. The image is provided a short textual alternative ("Graph of percentage of total U.S. noninsitutionalized population age 16-64 declaring one or more disabilities"). Below the image, the user can click a button that will overlay a long textual description of the statistical information itself. When the button is clicked, the following actions are taken:

The image and descriptive text were taken from an HTML example for long image descriptions on

The results for this technique are shown in the working version of Making a hidden description visible on request. The source of Making a hidden description visible on request is available.

Example Code:

import flash.accessibility. *;
import fl.accessibility.ButtonAccImpl;
import flash.system.Capabilities;


//set accessibility properties
graph_mc.accessibilityProperties = new AccessibilityProperties(); = "Graph of percentage of total U.S. \ 
  noninsitutionalized population age 16-64 declaring one or more disabilities";
longDescBtn.accessibilityProperties = new AccessibilityProperties();
longDesc_mc.accessibilityProperties = new AccessibilityProperties();
longDesc_mc.accessibilityProperties.forceSimple = false;

//set click handlers for button
longDescBtn.addEventListener("click", function () {
longDesc_mc.longDescCloseBtn.addEventListener("click", function () {

function showLongDesc() {
  // hide the original content from screen readers
  graph_mc.accessibilityProperties.silent = true;
  graph_mc.tabEnabled = false;
  graph_mc.alpha = 0.2;
  longDescBtn.enabled = false;
  longDescBtn.accessibilityProperties.silent = true;
  longDesc_mc.accessibilityProperties.silent = false;
  // make the long description panel visible, both visually and to screen readers
  longDesc_mc.visible = true;
  longDesc_mc.tabEnabled = true;
  longDesc_mc.longDescTitle.stage.focus = longDesc_mc.longDescTitle;
  if (Capabilities.hasAccessibility)

function hideLongDesc() {
  //do the opposite to what showLongDesc does
  graph_mc.accessibilityProperties.silent = false;
  graph_mc.tabEnabled = true;
  graph_mc.alpha = 1;
  longDescBtn.enabled = true;
  longDescBtn.accessibilityProperties.silent = false;
  longDesc_mc.visible = false;
  longDesc_mc.accessibilityProperties.silent = true;
  longDesc_mc.tabEnabled = false;
  longDescBtn.stage.focus = longDescBtn;
  if (Capabilities.hasAccessibility)



When a Flash movie contains images that require long descriptions, confirm that a longer description is made available through a separate button.

Expected Results