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RE: 1.1 suggestion

From: John M Slatin <john_slatin@austin.utexas.edu>
Date: Thu, 10 Jun 2004 14:28:12 -0500
Message-ID: <C46A1118E0262B47BD5C202DA2490D1A0183B197@MAIL02.austin.utexas.edu>
To: "Jim Thatcher" <jim@jimthatcher.com>, "Cynthia Shelly" <cyns@exchange.microsoft.com>, "Gregg Vanderheiden" <gv@trace.wisc.edu>, <jasonw@ariel.ucs.unimelb.edu.au>, "Web Content Guidelines" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>

It's true that sighted users can ignore images that don't interest them,
and that it's harder to ignore unwanted text.  Hence skipnav links, etc.
But good information and page design and good markup can help-- using a
header tag to identify the description, for example. And screen readers
provide tools that help users skip over some things-- keystorkes that
let you jump to another element, for example.

I don't think it's a perfect solution, and I wouldn't want to say it's
appropriate in every place.  But there are times when it would help. As
I said previously, I'm not wedded to this idea.


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-----Original Message-----
From: Jim Thatcher [mailto:jim@jimthatcher.com] 
Sent: Thursday, June 10, 2004 11:53 AM
To: John M Slatin; 'Cynthia Shelly'; 'Gregg Vanderheiden';
jasonw@ariel.ucs.unimelb.edu.au; 'Web Content Guidelines'
Subject: RE: 1.1 suggestion

John Slatin wrote: 
> But some sites and some users might benefit from designs that provide 
> the
> descriptions without requiring an extra keypress or an additional
> decision.

Even suggesting this will, in my opinion, result in gems like the va.gov
site used to be (http://jimthatcher.com/whatnot.htm) and the way
http://archives.gov is today. Long long descriptions attached to
invisible gifs that you must listen to; maybe they should attach skip
links at the top of each description so you can skip to the next long
descripiton (kidding).

And then John said,
> Sighted users get the images without having to *do*
> anything other than bring up the page. Why should a user who's blind, 
> or a user who has trouble processing complex visual material,  have to

> do extra work to get equivalent content?

True John, but sighted users can and usually do ignore the images
without doing anything. If descriptions are added inline they cannot be
ignored with speech and I am surprsed you don't find that hugely

Accessibility, What Not to do: http://jimthatcher.com/whatnot.htm.
Web Accessibility Tutorial: http://jimthatcher.com/webcourse1.htm.

(Nothing here Joe!)
Received on Thursday, 10 June 2004 15:29:55 UTC

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