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Re: Animated Gifs and Screen readers

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@sidar.org>
Date: Mon, 30 Aug 2004 22:42:56 +0300
To: "Patrick H. Lauke" <redux@splintered.co.uk>, "'WAI-IG'" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <opsdkbtuerw5l938@localhost>

On Mon, 30 Aug 2004 18:53:16 +0100, Patrick H. Lauke  
<redux@splintered.co.uk> wrote:

> Michael R. Burks wrote:
>> Does anyone know of any issues with animated gifs or other animated  
>> images
>> and screen readers?
>  In and of itself, an animated gif is no different from any other image.  
> A screen reader (in conjunction with the browser) will treat it like it  
> does all images.
> In general:
> - if it has an ALT attribute, it will read that out;
> - if it's a decorative image with a null ALT, it should silently pass it  
> over;
> - if there's no ALT set, it should announce it as "image", usually  
> followed by the file name.

That's the theory. As Emmanuelle noted, it isn't always true. To summarise  
the page she referred to, in english

The problem with Tiflowin (A spanish screen reader that is a lot cheaper  
than Jaws, especially in Argentine Pesos...) is that it moves the focus  
back to anything that changes visually in the page. So if there is an  
animation, you can't escape it for more than a quarter of a second. This  
has to do with how screen readers are designed - this used to be more  
normal. I don't know if there are other cases where this is still  
reasonably common - there used to be.

You can get around this by including a lowsrc attribute that points to a  
non-animated image. It violates the requirements for W3C technologies and  
valid code, although you could readily use XHTML modularisation to add the  
attribute to the allowable grammar.



Charles McCathieNevile         charles@sidar.org
FundaciĆ³n Sidar             http://www.sidar.org
Received on Monday, 30 August 2004 20:43:41 UTC

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