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Re: screen readers, browsers, & the reporting of ALT on & in image maps

From: Leonard R. Kasday <kasday@acm.org>
Date: Wed, 12 Jan 2000 11:03:04 -0500
Message-Id: <>
To: A.Flavell@physics.gla.ac.uk, "Gregory J. Rosmaita" <unagi69@concentric.net>
Cc: WAI Interest Group Emailing List <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>, WAI Guidelines List <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
I also like the idea of functional ALT text, viz. "select a direction", 
combined with LONGDESC to describe the visual appearance.  At least I like 
it in principle.  I wonder if any screenreader or browser will actually 
read the LONGDESC?

To test this I've added some tests to the page.  Here's the page address 
and shortcuts to the tests.

The top of the page is


The shortcuts are as follows.

  a second version of the image map with ALT text "Select a direction" and 
LONGDESC is "Antique Compass Dial" at


I've also added a plain image, not an image map, with LONG DESC to that page

One last thing.  Last time I tried this it seemed to matter if the image 
map was inside a table.  So I have the same image map as 2 presented alone at


The table shouldn't make any difference.  But who knows?


At 12:32 PM 1/12/00 +0000, Alan J. Flavell wrote:
> > "Select A Direction"
>Now, that seems an excellent solution, to me.  As an ALT text, it
>represents a functional _alternative_ to the original visually-based
>design. Any reference to the visual appearance of the non-viewed
>image, if required, would be better delegated to the TITLE and/or
>LONGDESC attributes (traditionally: D-link).

Leonard R. Kasday, Ph.D.
Institute on Disabilities/UAP, and
Department of Electrical Engineering
Temple University
423 Ritter Annex, Philadelphia, PA 19122


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Received on Wednesday, 12 January 2000 11:07:07 UTC

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