New Accessible Macromedia Release

Macromedia have a new release to be announced today, Contribute Version 2.0. Unfortunately I haven’t had time to try it as I’d hoped to but here’s the low down I got from Bob Regan at Macromedia (Accessibility Product Manager). Once I’ve tried it out I’ll post a link to the review here.

If you haven’t seen Contribute before it’s a tool for non-technical users to build web pages, it integrates with Dreamweaver templates and makes web page creation possible for people with no access to a Web designer, some templates come with the product and more are available to download. And reasonably priced at $99.

The interesting thing from an Accessibility point of view is that it has an “Enforce Accessibility” option. This doesn’t change the look and feel of the product but does things like:

  • Asking for alt text after adding an image,
  • Using strong and em instead of b and i and
  • Using relative font sizes.

Enforce accessibility is off by default. One thing that is on by default is asking for a table summary when a table is created. There’s also a set of Accessible templates available that Bob created in 2001/2002 which will work with the product.

The product itself has been designed to work with screen readers so it also makes content creation itself accessible, feedback from users of version 1 (with special needs) has been taken into account during development.

The National Federation of the Blind (the American version of the RNIB) has been given a copy for each of it’s chapters on request. Setup of the product can be achieved through a connection key (which can include turning on the Accessibility option) to simplify the process of distributing the product to content creators within an organization.

Well that’s a quick rundown of my notes from my conversation with Bob, you can get (a lot) more details from the Contribute Site, if you don’t see anything about version 2 yet then just check back later on in the day or tomorrow, although the information should be there today. I nearly forgot, it’s also available for Mac (version 1 was not).

Related to Macromedia Accessibility, there is also an Interview with Bob Regan, not related to Contribute.

Filed under: Accessibility
Posted by Accessify on Wednesday, July 16, 2003

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