New version delivers self-voicing applications that don't require screen readers

SYDNEY, Australia – 26 November 2002 – Macromedia, Inc. (Nasdaq: MACR) announced unprecedented accessibility support in Macromedia Director MX. Director MX contains features that simplify the process of creating new or repurposing existing applications to adhere to government accessibility guidelines and industry standards.

Director MX enables developers to create self-voicing applications that don't require assistive technologies such as screen readers. In addition, easy to use drag-and-drop accessibility behaviors can control speech and tab ordering, and enable captioning of spoken words.

"With the availability of Macromedia Director MX, all of the Macromedia MX authoring tools will support accessibility to ensure rich applications and content created with our software are accessible to people with disabilities," said Bob Regan, accessibility product manager, Macromedia. "We are proud of the work we have done with community leaders to ensure the development of accessible content is practical, given that the need for this content is so crucial."

Macromedia Director MX is ideal for creating accessible CD/DVD ROMs, kiosks, and web-based applications that run on Windows and Macintosh platforms. By using a Speech Xtra built-in to Director MX along with system-level voicing capabilities of both platforms, developers can create self-voicing applications for situations where it would be impractical to install screen readers, such as public libraries and museum kiosks. Director MX also enables developers to deliver content that is keyboard-navigable or uses alternative pointing devices to accommodate users who can't operate a mouse. The ability to completely customise the tabbing order of Director content will actually make applications that are not only accessible, but also usable to people with disabilities because tab ordering can be more intuitively designed. The product includes drag-and-drop behaviors that enable developers to easily repurpose existing content to adhere to accessibility guidelines.

Macromedia Director MX continues Macromedia's commitment to accessibility. Support is already available in Macromedia Flash MX, Macromedia Dreamweaver MX, Macromedia Fireworks MX, and Macromedia Contribute, to ensure all content created with Macromedia tools is available to people with disabilities.

ABOUT MACROMEDIA
Macromedia (www.macromedia.com/ap) empowers millions of designers and developers to create effective user experiences across the widest array of platforms and devices. Through an open, integrated family of client, tool, and server technologies, Macromedia is driving a new generation of rich Internet applications that radically improves the Internet experience.


ACCESSIBILITY LEADERS AND DEVELOPERS PRAISE SUPPORT IN MACROMEDIA DIRECTOR MX

Vision Australia Foundation
"The accessibility features in Director MX are another step forward in bringing the richness of the online and multimedia world to people with disabilities. Vision Australia Foundation is very pleased to see Macromedia continue its commitment to multimedia accessibility that began with Macromedia Flash MX. These enhancements will be of considerable benefit, especially in the educational field." - Andrew Arch, manager, online accessibility consulting, Vision Australia Foundation.

EASI: Equal Access to Software and Information

"When it comes to addressing accessibility issues, Macromedia puts its money where its mouth is. As we rapidly move to an interactive application web environment, Macromedia is extending, what is becoming an accessible tradition, to Director MX. While others watch to see what will happen with accessibility and the web, Macromedia takes a proactive approach and it is good to see."
- Dick Banks, chief information officer, EASI

National Center for Accessible Media (NCAM)
"Director MX brings accessibility to new settings and provides developers with a new set of tools for making rich media accessible. Macromedia has once again demonstrated its ongoing dedication to accessibility."
- Larry Goldberg, director, NCAM