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Re: Failure F3 -images via CSS: a question

From: Loretta Guarino Reid <lorettaguarino@google.com>
Date: Fri, 28 Aug 2009 14:38:02 -0700
Message-ID: <824e742c0908281438y70c64965waa6f344b02896ef4@mail.gmail.com>
To: Sailesh Panchang <spanchang02@yahoo.com>
Cc: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
On Mon, Jun 22, 2009 at 2:18 PM, Sailesh Panchang<spanchang02@yahoo.com> wrote:
> Failure F3 says it is not ok to  render images that are essential to understand content via CSS. Agreed.
> Consider: a text link with a CSS background image, say for document type PDF or  Word.
> The author uses offscreen text as part of anchor text to convey this document type and also does so via the title attribute on anchor. Is it ok then to use background image ?
> Again if CSS is turned off or user-CSS is used,  the offscreen text will be available to all. This will counter the
> criticism that the purpose of the image may not be rendered when user-defined CSS  is used in place of the one used by the author.
> Is it acceptable practice to use background images in this manner then?
> Will appreciate feedback.
> Sailesh Panchang
Response from the Working Group
Because the information provided by the CSS background image would be
available to assistive technologies, the use you've described would
not be considered a failure of SC 1.1.1.

However, the approach you've described can be somewhat difficult to
maintain and may still present barriers for some users. For example, a
user using high contrast mode, which turns off CSS images, will not
encounter the information conveyed by the background images in your

So, even though what you describe would technically conform, it is not
a good idea or good practice.

Loretta Guarino Reid, WCAG WG Co-Chair
Gregg Vanderheiden, WCAG WG Co-Chair
Michael Cooper, WCAG WG Staff Contact

On behalf of the WCAG Working Group
Received on Friday, 28 August 2009 21:38:42 UTC

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