I received the following inquiry from someone who works at a state agency here in Texas. It presents an interesting challenge, and it seems like something that might furnish a good example for us. I'm also curious to know what solutions members of WCAG WG would propose in order to meet WCAG 2.0.<begin query>
Our agency receives satellite photographs of Texas that are automatically formatted into jpegs and loaded to our Web site. These images are real-time, from one-hour to about 12-hours old. These are continually and automatically updated on the site.
I have an opportunity to review these Web pages now because they are being revised to add additional types of satellite photos. It's my job to make recommendations regarding the content's usability and whether it meets state Web site accessibility standards.
On these pages, the user selects up to four different parameters (using drop down lists) and then clicks a "display image" button. A jpeg is returned to them in their browser.
Since these images are automatically updated, alt text specific to each photo can not be added. And I'm not really sure how they could be descriptive enough, anyway. Besides, the photos are not presented inside Web pages, they are just the jpeg files.
The state rule says we should provide an alternative format for pages that are not accessible. I don't think that is possible in this case. Would you suggest some disclaimer text on the page stating that these images are not accessible?
"Good design is accessible design."
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John Slatin, Ph.D.
Director, Accessibility Institute
University of Texas at Austin
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Austin, TX 78712
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