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Re: Two new sites

From: Kynn Bartlett <kynn-hwg@idyllmtn.com>
Date: Sat, 24 Oct 1998 21:22:40 -0700
Message-Id: <>
To: "Charles F. Munat" <coder@acnet.net>
Cc: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>, "Liam Quinn" <liam@htmlhelp.com>
At 11:06 p.m. 10/24/98 -0500, Charles F. Munat wrote:
>On the first point (using alt = Image: Spacer vs. alt = ""), I am open to
>other suggestions. My original intent was to reassure the non-visual user
>that the image in question was of no significance. What is the point of
>Alt=""? Why bother with the alt tag at all? Except, of course, that the
>Bobby Validator will kick the site out as not approved. This is a good
>question. If an image IS used as a spacer, rule, etc., how should that be
>handled on the alt tags.

The point of ALT is to provide alternative content to use if the
image can't be used.  The way I think of it is, "If I weren't using
an image at all, for whatever reason, what would I put here?"

For spacers and vertical bars and the like, I wouldn't put ANYTHING
if I couldn't use an image -- so those should be left blank.

>The reason I put Image: in front of the description was that on Lynx, only
>the alt text appears. Without the Image: prefix, some of the alt text seemed
>pretty weird (taken out of context). That was more obvious on the Tropicasa

>Remember, these sites were not built for companies who cater to people
>with disabilities (or who even cared for that matter).

One of your big problems, in my opinion, in dealing with this
issue with the client is emphasizing that this is something special
to provide for blind people.  It's not.  It's something that improves
the usability of your site for EVERYONE, and reaches a far larger
audience than you're aware of.  Accessibility considerations are
used by search engines, by phone-based browsers, by intelligent
active agents, by browsers in pagers, and by browsers in cars.
Future use by ALL manner of visual and non-visual user agents is
vastly enhanced by accessibility considerations.

To be honest?  Part of the reason that playing the "users with
disabilities" gambit fails is because people suck.  There are
many people out there who feel it's more than "okay", it's good
common sense, to discriminate against folks who are blind or
otherwise not fully able to do the same things that I can do.

You and I, as people who are generally (barring broken elbows)
physically able to do most things, rarely encounter it except
in situations like this, but there is a lot of discrimination
against and deliberate snubbing of the handicapped.

Sometimes, merely pointing out "this will make it easier for
blind folks to use your site" can cause people's asinine, rude
biases to well up -- especially if this is your opening point.

I prefer to tell clients, "we design all sits to be universally
accessible" and if they want to argue it should be only
usable by a subset of the world, I stare at them as if they're
from another planet and declare that I have no idea why they
would want to purposely limit the effectiveness of their site
in such a manner, but hey, if you want a broken website, I'll
do it -- it'll just take extra work and cost you more money
to make sure it breaks in non-Netscape or non-MSIE browsers.

>On the second point, Bobby won't approve unless there's a noscript tag.
>Since the scripts on my site are all for dynamic HTML purposes (except some
>form validation that's duplicated on the server), what was I to put in the
>noscript tag?

How about <NOSCRIPT></NOSCRIPT> :)


Kynn Bartlett  <kynn@idyllmtn.com>             http://www.idyllmtn.com/~kynn/
Chief Technologist & Co-Owner, Idyll Mountain Internet; Fullerton, California
Enroll now for my online stylesheets (CSS) class! http://www.hwg.org/classes/
The voice of the future?   http://www.hwg.org/opcenter/w3c/voicebrowsers.html
Received on Sunday, 25 October 1998 00:33:47 UTC

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