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RE: Comment on WCAG 2.0

From: <gian@stanleymilford.com.au>
Date: Mon, 13 May 2002 11:57:18 +1000
Message-Id: <H00000e00047dbf7.1021255037.tux.sofcom.com.au@MHS>
TO: jasonw@ariel.ucs.unimelb.EDU.AU, jongund@uiuc.edu
CC: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
With regards to this:
> There are too many people who think they can use images to 
> stylize text and just use ALT text to make it accessible. 

I recall this being a discussion a few months back, and as I see it, it
falls under the checkpoint 3.1: When an appropriate markup language
exists, use markup rather than images to convey information.

As far as I am concerned, the issues you raised are user agent problems,
not content problems, and perhaps you should take it up with the UAAG
Working Group. No "appropriate markup language" currently exists that
properly imitates what images of text can illustrate.

So including a checkpoint to "not use images to stylize text" is
essentially taking the onus off user agents to deal with the problems
you have identified. I do agree however, that they are issues very real
to people with vision impairments. 


> -----Original Message-----
> From: jongund [mailto:jongund@uiuc.edu]
> Sent: Sunday, 5 May 2002 2:05 AM
> To: jasonw
> Cc: w3c-wai-gl
> Subject: Re: Comment on WCAG 2.0
> Jason,
> There are too many people who think they can use images to 
> stylize text
> and just use ALT text to make it accessible. This is a big 
> problem for low
> vision users:
> 1. Most popular browsers do not support the rendering of ALT 
> text for area
> elements.  I just reviewed a web site that the developers thought was
> accessible (passed some level of WCAG) and I told them it was not
> functaionally accessible because they used AREA elements to 
> define links
> and they are not rendered by Opera 6.0, IE 6.0 or Netscape 6.2 when
> images are configured to be turned off.
> 2. Control over the styling of ALT text is limited in many 
> browsers.  For
> example IE does not provide much control over styling, so the text is
> often very small when compared to other text in a high 
> contrast rendering.
> Users cannot make it bigger, even when adding user style sheets.
> 3. I also think that using images to stylize text promotes a graphical
> view of the web.  People can think "I can use images all I want and be
> accessible by putting in ALT text".  I think this should not 
> be considered
> good practice for accessible designs.
> So I think a more general checkpoint would be to not use 
> images to stylize
> text.  This provides an accessible design oriented requirement, rather
> than the current repair oriented requirement of providing 
> text equivalents
> for non-text content.
> Jon
> On Sat, 4 May 2002, Jason White wrote:
> > Jon Gunderson writes:
> >  > I think there needs to be a requirement at the 
> checkpoint level to style
> >  > text using CSS and not through the use of images.  I 
> think this is a
> >  > critical design decision in making web pages more 
> accessible, especially to
> >  > people with low vision.
> >
> > Since in WCAG 2.0 we aren't including any technology-specific
> > requirements at the checkpoint level, but instead 
> generalizing them so
> > as to apply across relevant technologies, what would you 
> suggest as an
> > appropriate checkpoint to meet the need which the above example
> > illustrates? What is the accessibility problem, is it covered by any
> > of our existing checkpoints, and if not, what is the general access
> > requirement that is missing from the guidelines?
> >
> > Perhaps guideline 5 would be pertinent here, as its purpose is to
> > discuss technical robustness; or maybe  guideline 1?
> >
> > Either way, the techniques documents (especially CSS 
> techniques) will
> > discuss style sheets in detail.
> >
> > There are still issues of backward compatibility and choice of
> > technology under guideline 5 to be worked out.
> >
> > The most important point is to identify, at a fundamental 
> level, what
> > the requirement is, independently of specific technologies, and to
> > make sure it is specified appropriately in the guidelines.
> >
Received on Sunday, 12 May 2002 21:57:34 UTC

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