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text and other alternatives Re: Clear and simple writing

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Mon, 26 Nov 2001 22:27:11 -0500 (EST)
To: Joe Clark <joeclark@contenu.nu>
cc: WAI-GL <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.30.0111262217140.20102-100000@tux.w3.org>
This is something of a philosophical point, but anyway...

In my experience of talking to people about accessibility and trying to
practice it myself, I have found that there are two objections to including
alternative content - textual or otherwise. One is that it disturbs the flow
and layout of the information being presented, and the other is that it is a
lot of work (which people don't always know how to do).

The first objection can be readily resolved if presentation of alternatives
(of any form) is optional, and besides, the range of different devices being
used to read the Web means that there isn't nearly as much consistency as
some designers like to believe.

The second is real, and we need to work as hard as we can on ways to make it
easy, and make it an habitual part of the design and development process.

Prescribing or suggesting a different writing style is seen as more
intrusive, and I agree that it is a different kind of requirement. This is
where the way we present our  information  is important, as Joe points out.

cheers

Chaals

On Mon, 26 Nov 2001, Joe Clark wrote:
[snip]
  Accessibility means that the removal or minimization of pictorial
  content must be accommodated. These provisions take into account an
  absence.
[snip]

  To sum up a well-argued position:
[snip]
  * In simple terms, requiring authors to provide text equivalents for
  images and the like is not the same as requiring them (a) to write a
  certain way and (b) to use IMAT. In fact, both of those requirements,
  if enacted, will trigger an unprecedented firestorm of opposition,
  much of it principled and on the money. Strong encouragement, on the
  other hand, will actually result in the addition of IMAT to Web pages.
Received on Monday, 26 November 2001 22:27:11 GMT

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