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RE: New versions of Guidelines and CHECKLIST

From: Kasday, Leonard <kasday@att.com>
Date: Tue, 11 Nov 1997 09:49:46 -0500
Message-Id: <9711111454.AA06120@hoccson.ho.att.com>
To: "'GL - WAI Guidelines WG'" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>, "'IG - WAI Interest Group List'" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>, po@trace.wisc.edu

Guidelines are looking good!

I'd suggest for the ALT text section some examples of images and
suggested ALT text.  That's what we did in the ALT text standards that
are now mandatory here for the AT&T corporate site; i.e. the
requirements AT&T applies to itself and the design houses that do work
for us.  The standards are publicly available at


Another thing we did  there was distinguish between mandatory standards
and recommended guidelines.  It's tough to come up with requirements
that always apply, but in the interests of having something more readily
enforced we made them absolute as possible.

In particular, ALT text is absolutely required for IMG and AREA except
for the following specific exceptions:

1.blank images used as spacers; 
2.images which are simply pieces of a larger picture, when one of the
other pieces already has ALT text to describe the whole (the pieces may
or may not be connected to each other); 
3.ornamental images which serve no purpose whatsoever: e.g. they do not
highlight or organize, do not convey information or help set a mood, and
do not represent anything of interest to anyone. 

As you can see, the first two are unambiguous.  The third leaves room
for judgment, but hopefully the examples in guidelines part will inform
that judgment.  

We also require that all text in an image must be in the ALT text.  Not
everyone agrees with this in all cases: for example some other people in
these groups have pages with logos that don't follow this.  However, at
least within a context where one wants  enforce standards in a simple
way, I'd rather err on the side of simplicity, even dogmatism, at least
for now 


kasday@att.com         phone 732 949 2693

Leonard R. Kasday
Room 1L-333
AT&T Laboratories
101 Crawfords Corner Rd.
Holmdel NJ 07733
Received on Tuesday, 11 November 1997 09:50:49 UTC

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