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Re: alt text seen or not?

From: <pjenkins@us.ibm.com>
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2000 17:47:26 -0600
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Message-ID: <8525686B.00833555.00@d54mta08.raleigh.ibm.com>

We went off in various directions and never seemed to close the original
point of this thread.  Here is my attempt to close it.

DP: = David Poehlman
PJ: = Phill Jenkins
KA: = Kathleen Anderson
BB: = Bruce Bailey

DP: if alt text is not available, should not there be an alternate
DP: somution?  for instance, in some cases, alt text is only available when
DP: you pass your <mouse> over the image.  with no mouse to pass, shouldn't
DP: that be rendered alternatively so that more people with disabilities
DP: be accommodated?

PJ: Are you talking about in-line images (1), client-side image maps (2),
PJ: and/or JavaScript "mouse-overs"(3)?

KA:I can't speak for David, but I was referring to (2) client-side image


PJ: The answer is dependent on what you mean by "rendered alternatively"
PJ: who [the browser or assistive technology] is doing the rendering. ...
PJ: For client-side image maps (2) the answer is different depending which
PJ: browser + assistive technology combination we are talking about.

KA: In this case I was using IE5, with graphics turned off, with no
KA: assistive technology.

KA: In this case, there was nothing rendered.

Not completely true.  In IE 5 the alt-text for the areas of the image map
are visually rendered as pop-ups when the mouse is moved over them.  And,
keyboard navigation with the tab key does stop over the empty areas [moves
the visual focus indicator] even when graphics loading is turned off. And
of course, with readily available assistive technologies the user has
access to the "rendered" alt-text of the image map regions.

So, is this an accessibility issue or an economic issue?

PJ: I do not consider this ...
PJ: "accessibility" related, but more to do with economics [can I
PJ: afford the time, money, or hardfile space] and the politics
PJ: of upgrading or changing technology.

KA: I guess this is where we differ. As a state government webmaster, I
KA: still need to accommodate the needs of users who browse with graphics
KA: turned off and do not use assistive technology. If someone cannot
KA: to upgrade their computer or does not have the hard drive space or
KA: permission to download another browser, they certainly can't afford to
KA: buy the assistive technology necessary to properly render the alt tags
KA: in an image map. Nor should they have to.

No one is asking your sighted IE5 user to "afford to" do anything, except
run the mouse over the image map - OR - turn image loading on [OK a little
more $ for connect time].  If your sighted IE5 user has a mobility
impairment and no "mouse keys" [move the mouse with the keyboard arrow
keys]" functions,  then they MAY have to turn image loading on to see the
hot spots.  Still only an economic issue, except it would be nicer for
graphical browsers to also render [without the mouse or mouse keys] the
alt-text for client-side image maps, which is currently a Priority 1 [UAAG]
checkpoint 1.1 [priority seems high for this example].  But, then it's
another economic issue to upgrade to the better browser.
KA: Again, as a government webmaster, I can't separate one kind of
KA: accessibility from another. As a civil servant whose salary is paid for
KA: by taxpayers, I need to make our sites, which they have paid for,
KA: accessible to everyone, regardless of their ability, disability,
KA: hardware or software.

Sounds like you need to add "or economic condition" to the end of this last
sentence.  And you as a government webmaster can always make your sites
triple AAA compliant or at least meet the [WCAG] P3 checkpoint 1.5 by
adding redundant text links for client-side image maps.

BB: As Gregg V. wrote in response to Jonathan C. very recently, making
BB: mainstream Web content meaningful to children is beyond the domain of
BB: WAI.  Kathleen A. argued that we should accommodate:
BB: > A sighted person surfing the net with graphics turned off, because
BB: > have a low end processor, slow modem, or [can't] pay for connect
BB: But this is not a WCAG issue either!

Is the issue that government webmaster don't have the funds [economic
issue] to add the redundant text links?

Phill Jenkins

[WCAG] http://www.w3.org/TR/1999/WAI-WEBCONTENT-19990505/
[UAAG] http://www.w3.org/WAI/UA/WD-UAAG-20000115/#gl-device-independence
Received on Wednesday, 19 January 2000 18:53:22 UTC

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