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RE: FrontPage Accessibility Wizard?

From: Heather Swayne <hswayne@microsoft.com>
Date: Fri, 20 Apr 2001 14:39:17 -0700
Message-ID: <B7E0BEA478EBC24EBB2CF19F710760230138C79D@red-msg-06.redmond.corp.microsoft.com>
To: "Kathleen Anderson" <kathleen.anderson@po.state.ct.us>, "Paul Stauffer 301-827-5694 FAX 301-443-6385" <STAUFFERP@cder.fda.gov>, "WAI IG" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Cc: "Jim Tobias" <tobias@inclusive.com>
There has been some discussion on this listserv about the way in which
Microsoft FrontPage handles Alt+text.  In this email, I will try to shed
light on some of the issues raised.   I believe that you will be pleased
to learn that many of the concerns were addressed in FrontPage 2002,
which will also be shipping in OfficeXP, scheduled to be available on
May 31st.  

As Mike Burks pointed out, there is a document available on the web that
offers design suggestions about how to make web sites more accessible
using FrontPage 2000.  This can be found at
http://www.microsoftfrontpage.com/content/articles/accessibility.html

While this web site is designed for FrontPage 2000 users, FrontPage 2002
has added the ability to specify the Alt+text within image map regions.
Within the Edit Hyperlink dialog there is a "Screen Tip" option that
specifies the Alt+text and tooltip text of that region. The code created
by the Screen Tip option looks something like this:

<area alt="Link to MSNBC on the Internet."
href="<http://www.msnbc.com/>" shape="polygon" coords="863, 411, 432,
416, 439, 145, 437, 148, 853, 152">

However I believe it is still appropriate to suggest that users create a
separate set of textual links to improve the usability of their site.

Note that if a FrontPage 2000 user edited the HTML of an image map to
include Alt+text, FrontPage would preserve that information. 

Regarding the issue of requiring the prompting of the user for Alt+text,

The WAI Web Authoring Tools working group has repeatedly discussed this
issue.  From Charles McCathieNevile's mail on 5/31/00 "In this document
'prompt' is used as a verb meaning to urge, suggest and encourage."
With the addition of a third party product, like the one available from
Hiawatha Island Software
<http://www.hisoftware.com/access/frontpage.html>, FrontPage users will
be informed and encouraged to correct any missing Alt+text.

Finally, FrontPage 2002 supports any LONGDESC information a user codes
in by hand within the HTML view, but the user interface is dedicated to
providing the functionality that is available to Web users today
(specifically Internet Explorer and Netscape).

Heather Swayne
Lead Program Manager for the
Technical Solutions Team within the
Microsoft Accessible Technology Group
Received on Monday, 23 April 2001 11:56:10 GMT

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