Last updated: August 23, 2017
This article is intended to provide insight into Behavioral Tech’s current plans for support of our online training courses. As a result of changes in the tech industry involving Adobe Flash, Behavioral Tech will retire its Flash-based, online courses at the end of 2019.
In this article:
- Roadmap for Online Training Products
- Online Training Refund Policy
- Maintain Security while Using Flash
Behavioral Tech online training courses were built over the past fifteen years using Adobe Flash, the popular technology at the time. Our online training courses also rely on the web browser Mozilla Firefox, which provides the best user experience to access our courses. Adobe has announced the end of product support for Flash after 2020, and Firefox will not provide a Flash player within its current browser software after 2019.
After 2019, the technology needed to run our online training courses will disappear and online training customers will not be able to make progress in their online training courses. Behavioral Tech is committed to offering the best training and resources for mental health professionals, and we have prepared this article in order to share our plans about this product.
What is Adobe Flash?
Adobe Flash Player is a free software package developed by Adobe. Developed in the 1990s, it became popular for displaying animations on the Internet. Flash enables websites to provide content that requires animation, audio (including MP3 files), video, and microphone or webcam access.
Behavioral Tech Online Training Courses
Due to the interactive nature of our online training courses, Flash was the best technology available when our courses were developed between 2006 and 2012. Flash Player makes course navigation or interactive scenarios possible within our online training courses.
We believe that our online training courses bring unique value for our customers. The interactive nature of the courses create an engaging learning experience. Our more interactive courses offer the opportunity to practice new skills within a safe learning environment. And the courses offer a remote and self-paced option for professionals to complement our in-person trainings.
Industry Outlook for Flash Player
Major players in the Internet industry, such as Facebook, Amazon, and YouTube, are slowly moving away from using Adobe Flash and enabling modern HTML5 functionality for playing videos online. Web browsers (e.g., Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer, and Safari) are doing the same. There are a number of reasons for moving away from Adobe Flash:
- Security concerns about Adobe Flash (see Section 4 of this article)
- Flash Player is a browser plugin that must be downloaded from Adobe; HTML5 can be built in to the browser.
- HTML5 works on mobile and tablet devices, while Flash only works on some of these devices (Flash does not work on the iPhone or iPad).
- Flash uses more computer resources to run, which can mean a slower running speed for Flash as compared to HTML5.
Our courses operate the most reliably in Mozilla Firefox due to a close collaboration between Firefox and Adobe to maintain the Flash Player plugin within Firefox. Adobe has announced the end of product support for Flash after 2020, and Firefox will not provide a Flash player within its current browser software after 2019. Because the Flash Player technology is critical to operating our online courses, we will not be able to sell or support our online products after 2019. Customers will be able to access online training as long as Flash Player is supported by Adobe and Firefox.
2. Roadmap for Online Training Products
It is our wish to provide proactive communication about Flash Player and its impact on our product line in order to help mental health professionals plan their DBT training experience. Based on the available information from Firefox and Adobe, our roadmap for online training products is outlined below.
NOTE: This timeline is subject to change; it will be updated as new information is released by Firefox and Adobe. Should Adobe or Firefox change their plans regarding support for the Flash product, Behavioral Tech will need to update this plan.
Changes to Product Offerings, Effective July 2017
Behavioral Tech will discontinue 12-month licenses and bundled purchase options for all online training products. Customers can still choose from the following license options:
- DBT Skills Training: 3-month and 6-month
- DBT Validation Principles & Strategies: 3-month and 6-month
- DBT Chain Analysis Training: 3-month and 6-month
- Foundations of Exposure Therapies: 4-month and 6-month
- Transforming Difficult Moments in Therapy: 3-month and 6-month
- Mastery of Anxiety and Panic for Adolescents: 3-month and 6-month
Changes to Product Offerings, Effective April 2019
Behavioral Tech will discontinue 6-month licenses for all online training products. Customers can still choose the following license options:
- DBT Skills Training: 3-month
- DBT Validation Principles & Strategies: 3-month
- DBT Chain Analysis Training: 3-month
- Foundations of Exposure Therapies: 3-month
- Transforming Difficult Moments in Therapy: 3-month
- Mastery of Anxiety and Panic for Adolescents: 3-month
Changes to Product Offerings, Effective September 2019
Behavioral Tech will discontinue 3-month licenses for all online training products; Behavioral Tech will discontinue selling online training products that are based on Adobe Flash. We will continue to offer technical support and the opportunity to purchase 1-month extensions through the end of 2019.
Changes to Product Offerings, Effective January 2020
Behavioral Tech will discontinue technical support and 1-month extensions for online training courses based on Adobe Flash.
3. Online Training Refund Policy
Behavioral Tech is committed to offering the best DBT training experience that we can for our customers; however, once Adobe or popular browsers terminate support for Flash, we will be forced to discontinue support for the online training product.
When support for Adobe Flash Player is discontinued, Behavioral Tech will not be able to offer refunds outside of our standard online training refund policy.
It is our hope that we can mitigate any negative impact to our online training customers through proactive actions to limit the length of access available for purchase and transparent communication about our roadmap for this product line. Please see section 2 of this article for detailed information.
4. Maintain Security while Using Flash Player
The most significant reason that the Internet industry is moving away from Flash Player is due to security concerns about the Flash Player. Given their work with patient health information, it is especially critical that mental health professionals understand how to responsibly run Flash Player and maintain its security. Although our courses do not interact with your PHI systems in any way, patient health information would be potentially at risk if a security breach occurred through Flash Player (e.g., hackers could exploit vulnerabilities within Flash to gain access to your computer and IT network). If you have any concerns about using Flash Player at your agency, please consult your IT team.
Adobe regularly releases security updates for Flash Player to protect users from recently discovered vulnerabilities. You should always make sure that you are running the most recent version of Flash Player. Flash Player is a unique plugin for each browser (e.g. it is different for Internet Explorer and Firefox). You can check your current Flash Player version on the Adobe website: http://www.adobe.com/software/flash/about/. You should check to make sure that the version you have installed matches the most-current player version for your operating system and current browser. For Behavioral Tech courses, the most reliable experience is offered by Mozilla Firefox. You will want to ensure that the Flash Player within Firefox matches the current version listed with Firefox — NPAPI.
- Adobe Corporate Communications. (July 25, 2017). Flash and the Future of Interactive Content. Retrieved from https://blogs.adobe.com/conversations/2017/07/adobe-flash-update.html.
- Smedberg, B. (July 25, 2017). Firefox Roadmap for Flash End-of-Life. Retrieved from https://blog.mozilla.org/futurereleases/2017/07/25/firefox-roadmap-flash-end-life/.