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RE: Alternative text

From: Emmanuelle Gutiérrez y Restrepo <coordina@sidar.org>
Date: Sat, 11 Nov 2006 00:20:20 +0100
To: "'WAI Interest Group'" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <00c201c7051e$cb679730$0a00a8c0@EMMYSIDAR>

I agree with you Paul.

And there are another users group: The sighted people that navigate without
download the images. (A lot of people that can't pay for a LAND or people
that use the mobile phone, etc.)

So, the alt is very important even for photos, and another type of


Emmanuelle Gutiérrez y Restrepo  	Fundación Sidar
Coordinadora del SIDAR			www.sidar.org
Email: coordina@sidar.org
Tel.: +34 - 91 725 71 47	 

-----Mensaje original-----
De: w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org] En nombre
de Paul Novitski
Enviado el: viernes, 10 de noviembre de 2006 20:07
Para: WAI Interest Group
Asunto: Re: Alternative text

At 11/10/2006 06:24 AM, Matt Lee wrote:
>Finding someone somewhere who can clarify this is hard though, as my 
>co-workers want to do things like adding alt text to every single 
>image, which is clearly incorrect.

Calling it "incorrect" sounds very hard core and might create a
collaborative log-jam where a lighter attitude might make consensus easier.
Unnecessary alt text will clutter the page but not break it.  Technically,
from a markup perspective, it's not incorrect.

Who will read the ALTs?  Non-visual user agents such as search engines and
screen-readers.  Provide alt text for an image when it helps search engines
index the page better or helps a blind visitor understand the page better.
A graphic filigree in the chrome might be considered unimportant to alt on
most websites but might be worth describing in a graphic designer's site.

>On Fri, 2006-11-10 at 14:06 +0000, Patrick H. Lauke wrote:
> > if it's something like a photo of a member of staff on a profile 
> > page, I'd treat it as visual fluff and put a null alt on it.

Unless you think a non-visual visitor will benefit by knowing that the image
is there, even if they can't see it themselves.

I notice that often people will make judgements of whether there's any point
in making a website accessible based on the immediate, first-hand usefulness
of the content to a non-visual visitor.  For example, a photographer or
artist might argue that because a blind person can't see their work there's
no point in making their site accessible... without considering that a blind
user might be shopping for a gift for a sighted person, or doing research,
or expanding their knowledge of the world, or any of a myriad of other
purposes with which we venture into the web.  Could a sports store get away
with not installing a ramp next to the stairs because "crippled people don't
play sports"?  Of course not: it's both a false premise and broken logic.
Your visitors have their own reasons for visiting your establishment.

With this in mind, my inclination would be to label the staff photos in alt
text, e.g. "Photo of Jules Verne" if in your opinion someone might benefit
from knowing that this bit of visual resource is available for seeing or
scraping even if the visitor herself can't see it.

As a sighted user, I might want to know that a web page is available in Urdu
or Thai even though I'm unable to read those languages.  I would consider it
arrogant if a web designer hid the existence of those texts from me based on
an assumption of my surfing purposes or my linguistic abilities.

Received on Friday, 10 November 2006 23:20:39 UTC

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