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ALT tag preferences

From: Tyler Kendall <tyler_kendall@ncsu.edu>
Date: Thu, 28 Jun 2001 10:32:29 -0400
Message-ID: <3B3B3FFD.31464807@ncsu.edu>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Hello all,

    First, as I'm new to the list, a brief introduction: My name is
Tyler Kendall and I'm in charge of providing accessible web design
education, consulting, and review at NC State University.  "Hello!"

    I'm hoping to get a consensus of what people feel is the 'best
practice' regarding the use of ALT tags for spacer images.  I have been
recommending using ALT=' ' and giving the file a meaningful name (like
'spacer.gif').  The new access board guide to Section 508
(http://www.access-board.gov/sec508/guide/1194.22.htm) is the first
place I've seen this officially recommended - though I recall seeing it
used once or twice in examples in other guides.
    While this approach seems the best I've come across, I'm not
entirely pleased with it.  JAWS, the screen reader with which I have the
most experience, treats these images the same as images with no ALT tag
what-so-ever, and in many ways this seems to be a trick to get Bobby
approval.  Is there a better way to provide users of screen readers a
solution here?
    On a similar note, I've been recommending the use of ALT='bullet'
for graphic list bullets (when people seem unwilling to use the HTML
list markup), but I'm wondering, does ALT='*' has much support?


Tyler Kendall
Web Accessibility Specialist
North Carolina State University
Voice: 919-513-4087
Fax: 919-513-1893
Email: tyler_kendall@ncsu.edu
Received on Thursday, 28 June 2001 10:35:00 UTC

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