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

From: Bruce Bailey <bbailey@clark.net>
Date: Fri, 14 Jan 2000 09:25:50 -0500
To: "WAI Interest Group Emailing List" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Cc: "Gregory J. Rosmaita" <unagi69@concentric.net>, "Leonard R. Kasday" <kasday@acm.org>
Message-ID: <000501bf5e9b$42200600$1aac66a7@151877>
Gregory,

Thank you for your careful report.  Thank you Len for putting up this test
pages so quickly!

> in response to len's request to the WAI-IG list, asking screen
> reader users to
> visit his image map test page located at:
> http://astro.temple.edu/~kasday/web_access/image_map.html
> and report what they heard...

[much snippage]

I feel I must question your conclusions however!

> my conclusions are that image map support is so inconsistently
> implemented and
> subject to so many variables, that it should be avoided if possible -- and
> avoidance can mean something as simple as prefacing the image map
> with 2 links

To me, your report seemed more to damn the functionality of Navigator (in
comparison to other equally popular alternatives) than anything else.  I am
a fan of replicating image map links textually, but I also appreciate a
guiding principle of the WCAG that authors need not change the "look and
feel" of their pages in order to be accessible.  Requiring extra links, and
textual navigation links violates this principle.

The WCAG covers this point explicitly, but (appropriately) assigns it only a
Priority 3.  Reference URL:
http://www.w3.org/TR/WAI-WEBCONTENT/#tech-redundant-client-links
<Q>1.5 Until user agents render text equivalents for client-side image map
links, provide redundant text links for each active region of a client-side
image map. [Priority 3]</Q>

I think that your investigation (and other discussion on this thread)
supports my earlier observation that UA support of alt tags for hotspots in
client-side image maps is pretty good.

I see that Len is working on a more detailed response...
http://astro.temple.edu/~kasday/web_access/im_results.html

-- Bruce Bailey
Received on Friday, 14 January 2000 09:27:50 GMT

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