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Re: New internal draft of HTML techniques

From: Paul Bohman <paulb@cc.usu.edu>
Date: Tue, 27 Jul 2004 17:17:40 -0400
Message-ID: <4106C674.8040703@cc.usu.edu>
Cc: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org

Jim Thatcher wrote:

> Jim Thatcher: If screen text is available the label element should be used.
> If not, the title attribute should be used. I think this image hack should
> not be encouraged as "a W3C-sanctioned technique".

So you're saying that IF someone uses an image for a form label, the 
assistive technology should use the title attribute rather than the alt 
attribute? (And you're also saying that the idea of using images as 
labels should be discouraged?)

In a sense, I understand how using the title attribute as the official 
"label" in this instance could be good. It would be consistent with the 
other recommendations in the techniques document (i.e. use the title 
attribute if the label tag won't work).

On the other hand, it would create some redundancy (the alt attribute 
and the title attribute will most likely be identical). I suppose that 
having some redundancy isn't all bad, but it could be argued that it is 

So I guess we now have two issues:

1. Can images be used as form labels?
2. If yes, how do we communicate the label text?

Jim, it sounds like your answer to issue 1 is: yes, but it should be 

It sounds like your answer to issue 2 is: use the title attribute rather 
than the alt attribute.

Have I characterized your position accurately?

Paul Bohman
Project Coordinator
WebAIM (Web Accessibility in Mind)
Utah State University
Received on Tuesday, 27 July 2004 17:18:01 UTC

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