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Re: No ALT place to go from CSS background images. The frustrating Australian situation

From: Paul Collins <pauldcollins@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 4 Oct 2007 15:45:08 +0100
Message-ID: <fa62db570710040745v396fff0ag9b95ec4aab5e6c87@mail.gmail.com>
To: Tim <dogstar27@optushome.com.au>
Cc: "WAI Interest Group list" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>, "Michael S Elledge" <elledge@msu.edu>

I may not be reading this properly, but can't you just sit a CSS
background image on top of the text? Eliminating the need for an alt
attribute and having the text show up if people turn CSS off or
images.

So:

<h1 class="replace"><em></em>The heading you want to replace</h1>

The use the EM to position the image over the text. Then you wouldn't
need an alt tag or long description really, would you?




On 04/10/2007, Tim <dogstar27@optushome.com.au> wrote:
>
> Thanks Michael,
>
> Thanks Mike, I believe that you are correct but I still have a
> pernickety issue with CSS presentational images.
>
> Some images could be in-between presentational content and aesthetics,
> like a Newspaper masthead. You already know which paper you are
> reading, so they are presentational graphics, but my wish would be that
> CSS allowed atl attributes and a londesc so I could link to a sound
> file alternative to the CSS graphic content, so those who can't see the
> presentational graphics have some alternative sounds presented for
> them. The reason why I don't want the images in the page html is that
> the linked CSS allows seven optional layouts and different graphics.
>
> You are right, the move to accessible websites is happening so very
> slowly in Australia it seems to be standing still, web courses here
> teach Photoshop and Dreamweaver and zero accessibility is taught at any
> Australian course that I know of (except one to Universities who detest
> my reviews) A snail's pace move for accessibility and they tend to
> shoot the messenger in Australia, but I admit I am on the more extreme
> side of being an activist advocating change that is unwelcome and I am
> a hard target to shoot pardon the pun. Wal-Mart is not much better.
>
> I hope we see some good moves in America soon, though as John noted it
> is only so far it is only a class action case allowed to proceed, but
> they are the best cases on behalf of more than one disadvantaged person
> and corporations will be dragged along kicking and screaming followed
> by a bunch of impotent html illiterate luddite lawyers.
>
> Tim
>
> On 04/10/2007, at 11:53 PM, Michael S Elledge wrote:
>
> > Hi Tim--
> >
> > My understanding is that the separation of presentation from content
> > using CSS should result in your using CSS images solely for aesthetics
> > and not conveying information. In other words, images that contain
> > meaningful content need to have a description using the alt tag,
> > images that don't contain meaningful content should have "" in the alt
> > tag, and images provided through CSS don't need an alt tag because
> > they by definition don't contain meaningful information.
> >
> > If I am incorrect about this, everyone, please feel free to let me
> > know.
> >
> > As for your frustration with the Australian government, I think we all
> > share your pain, though perhaps not as directly. The need to provide
> > accessible sites and software seems to be gaining more awareness, but
> > it's happening more slowly than I would ever have expected.
> >
> > Mike Elledge
> >
> > John Foliot wrote:
> >> Tim wrote:
> >>
> >>> The Target ruling on ALT tags seems be a little judicially expedient
> >>> and not the full picture on alt tags or accessibility.
> >>>
> >>
> >> Tim,
> >>
> >> Please be very clear, there is yet a "ruling" in the Target case,
> >> outside of
> >> the fact that the suit has now been elevated to a class-action suit,
> >> which
> >> *does* up the ante somewhat.  However, one of the key considerations
> >> in the
> >> case is the fact that many of the images on the Target site lack
> >> suitable or
> >> "accessible" alternative text.
> >>
> >> I made my comments mostly in light of the fact that currently the
> >> HTML5
> >> Working Group are suggesting that in the next generation language
> >> images
> >> could be considered "conformant" even without alt text "...under
> >> certain
> >> circumstances". [http://blog.whatwg.org/omit-alt]  I have been
> >> arguing that
> >> even suggesting that this is a consideration opens the door for
> >> misuse and
> >> abuse, as it becomes a subjective consideration by the developer, and
> >> while
> >> the HTML5 WG are trying very hard to explain their reasoning, it
> >> ultimately
> >> replaces one bad situation with an even worse situation (IMHO).
> >>
> >> If the Target.com case finds for the plaintiffs, then the message
> >> being sent
> >> out is that within the discussion of legal requirements, images will
> >> require
> >> alt text, irregardless of a specification that suggests otherwise.
> >> Thus,
> >> while there might be a technical ability to do so, legal mandates will
> >> insist that authors not take advantage of the technical ability, thus
> >> making
> >> that aspect of the specification moot.
> >>
> >> I'm not 100% sure what the rest of your posting was trying to convey,
> >> although we all know that you remain angry with "the system" in
> >> Australia.
> >>
> >> JF
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>> On 04/10/2007, at 3:58 AM, John Foliot - Stanford Online
> >>> Accessibility
> >>> Program wrote:
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>> In light of the fact that a judge today ruled that the suit against
> >>>> Target.com can become a class action suit, and that one of the key
> >>>> complaints is that many of the images do not have alt text, or
> >>>> appropriate alt text...
> >>>> This writer wonders aloud what the judge would think about sites
> >>>> that
> >>>> deliberately did not include alt text, or did not programmatically
> >>>> allow for the inclusion of alt text...
> >>>>
> >>>>    "The court's decision today makes clear that people with
> >>>> disabilities no longer can be treated as second-class citizens in
> >>>> any sphere of mainstream life. This ruling will benefit hundreds of
> >>>> thousands of
> >>>> Americans with disabilities." - Larry Paradis, Disability Rights
> >>>> Advocates http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1895,2191625,00.asp
> >>>>
> >>>>    "All e-commerce businesses should take note of this decision and
> >>>> immediately take steps to open their doors to the blind." - Dr. Marc
> >>>> Maurer, president of the National Federation of the Blind.
> >>>> http://tinyurl.com/33jszq
> >>>>
> >>>> It would seem pretty fool-hardy to create an online application or
> >>>> site that did not allow for the insertion of alt text; especially if
> >>>> the above results in serious grief for Target.com.  A future spec
> >>>> might be conformant without alt text, but a judge might still award
> >>>> damages; making the exercise theoretically moot.
> >>>> Score one for social engineering!
> >>>>
> >>>> JF
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>> The Editor
> >>> Heretic Press
> >>> http ://www.hereticpress.com
> >>>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> > <elledge.vcf>
> The Editor
> Heretic Press
> http ://www.hereticpress.com
> Email dogstar27@optushome.com
>
>
>
Received on Thursday, 4 October 2007 14:45:32 GMT

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