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Re: ALT and TITLE Clarification

From: Andrew Kirkpatrick <andrew_kirkpatrick@wgbh.org>
Date: Thu, 13 Jan 2005 13:34:10 -0500
To: Chris Ridpath <chris.ridpath@utoronto.ca>
Cc: Jim Thatcher <jim@jimthatcher.com>, WAI WCAG List <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>, geoff_freed@wgbh.org
Message-id: <B79D1382-6591-11D9-9132-0003937B30FE@wgbh.org>

>> The W3C AAA conformance icon's alt should be (IMHO),
>> "W3C WAI-AAA WCAG 1.0".  It will be better when the
>> abbreviations and acronyms in the
>> icon's text can be expanded, but in this case users get the same info
>> whether they are sighted or not.
> One purpose of the image is to let people know that the page complies 
> to the
> WCAG. It's other purpose is a link to the document that describes what 
> the
> conformance means. So the Alt text should be something like "Complies 
> with
> WCAG 1.0 level AAA. Description of conformance".

I don't want to get into an argument about good alt text, but I think 
that the issue here really is that you are willing to make assumptions 
about what sighted people will get out of looking at this ambiguous 
icon, but want to be perfectly clear for those who use the alt text.  
Does the visual rendering of the icon really say what you suggested?  
I'd say that the text on the icon will be enough for an person already 
familiar with WCAG, but that the icon doesn't have enough information 
for those who aren't.

>> I'd put additional information into
>> the title attribute, but currently would have a
>> low expectation that it
>> would be read.
> Jaws 5 will read title. You can also set it to read the longer of Alt 
> or
> title.

This is not new.  JAWS 4.0 would as well.  It is not the default 
behavior, so as a result I have a low expectation that title will be 
read and therefore don't count on it to convey meaning.

Andrew Kirkpatrick
WGBH National Center for Accessible Media
125 Western Ave.
Boston, MA  02134
E-mail: andrew_kirkpatrick@wgbh.org
Received on Thursday, 13 January 2005 18:34:54 UTC

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