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Re: [A11y] requiring alt Re: fear of "invisible metadata"

From: Laura Carlson <laura.lee.carlson@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 25 Jun 2007 12:27:30 -0500
Message-ID: <1c8dbcaa0706251027q741f3992wb128061820ac5253@mail.gmail.com>
To: public-html@w3.org

On Jun 24, 2007, at 12:40 PM, Gregory J. Rosmaita wrote:

>> why do you not have long descriptions of your photos?

On 6/25/07, Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com> wrote:

> Sorry, I don't think it is reasonable to hold hobbyist photographers
> to such a standard. It's certainly not something you find in real-
> life photo galleries.

I understand what you are saying and you have a point. Most hobby
galleries probably don't make images accessible.

Guess it depends on the definition of "reasonable". George Bernard
Shaw said 'The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: The
unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself.
Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.' [1]

Looks like we are back to a fundamental design principle disagreement
(e.g. cow paths) again. [2]

Despite the rarity of accessible hobby galleries, it's still important
to provide mark up so that images can be made accessible. Take for
instance professional galleries and educational institutions.  If an
image is in a the context of a professional gallery or education web
site, I'd certainly consider it critical content and give it alt,
title, and long description.

If you want to improve availability of a long description to people
not using screen readers or not using Patrick Lauke's Firefox Longdesc
extension [3] you currently can. There are a few ways. For instance,
in addition to using the longdesc attribute a web designer can:

- Provide a link to the longdesc page with a normal text link. Have a
link that says "Text description of this image" is available on a
separate page.

- Make the complex image itself a link to the long description page.

- Put the image description directly in the context of the document
where the image occurs.

In this last method, everyone can benefit from both image and text
information. Two professional galleries, the The Tate Modern's i-Map
and Dayton Art Institute use this last technique quite well.

i-Map: The Every Day Transformed [4] is Tate Modern's award winning
gallery site. It is aimed at blind and partially sighted people with a
general interest in art as well as art teachers and their visually
impaired students. It does what seems impossible to many people, by
making modern art (and its key concepts) accessible to blind and
partially sighted people. It is one of the few to describe collections
for visually impaired people. The images are highly contrasted and
made visible to partially-sighted people. The site is the world leader
in making online collections accessible to blind and partially sighted

Dayton Art Institute [5] is a predecessor of iMap. It gives some good
examples of writing descriptions for art. The image description is
directly in the context of the document where the image occurs, for
example the on-page image description of Claude Monet's "Waterlilies"

Best Regards,

[1] http://www.quotationspage.com/quote/692.html
[2] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2007May/0940.html
[3] https://addons.mozilla.org/extensions/moreinfo.php?application=firefox&id=273
[4] http://www.tate.org.uk/imap/imap2/
[5] http://tours.daytonartinstitute.org/accessart/
[6] http://tours.daytonartinstitute.org/accessart/object.cfm?TT=ct&ID=72&COM=im&F1=&F2=Waterlilies&F3=&F4=&F5=&F6=&F7=&F8=

Laura L. Carlson
Received on Monday, 25 June 2007 17:27:39 UTC

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