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Re: Microsoft PowerPoint accessibility

From: Harry Loots <harry.loots@ieee.org>
Date: Wed, 18 Aug 2010 09:38:07 +0100
Message-ID: <AANLkTi=cgziOez-cdqL-B_PmykoDKcj2dMA-eSHzGx9g@mail.gmail.com>
To: wed@csulb.edu
Cc: W3C WAI ig <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Hi Wayne
I think you may have misunderstood the point I was making.

Title text, being only of use to some users of AT, should never be relied on
to explain the purpose of a link, and should be done away with as it is
misused and relied on to provide information which may only benefit a small
proportion of users.
Adequately describing the purpose of the link should always take precedence
over relying on the 'title' attribute to explain the purpose of the link. If
the link remains obscure and cannot be determined by means of context, and
by context i'm referring to the environment and surrounding information
which may give a clue to sighted users as to its context), then a piece of
hidden text (eg: <span>This link blah blah blah</span>) can be used to
explain the meaning to users of speech-readers (hide it from sighted users).

I should not confuse techniques used for the 'alt' attribute with techniques
used for the 'title' attribute. ALT is intended to provide textual
equivalent of information displayed by means of images, etc. Title is not,
and has never been, intended to be used as 'text alternatives'. The  'title'
attrbute is intended to provide additional, clarifying or advisory
information and can be used with many different elements, including tables,
anchors, span, input, etc.

The title attribute is only ever read by a small proportion of users.
Keyboard users will never see the title attribute. Screen readers have a
setting to read 'link description' (the text inside <a>...</a> element), or
the title attribute, or the longer of these two. The default is 'link
description' and in working with users who use speech readers i have yet to
come across a user who had this set up to read anything other than 'link
description'. So, while it may be useful to some users to use the title
attribute to provide additional advisory information (according to HTML
spec), it may never be seen by the majority of users to your site.

Kind regards

On Tue, Aug 17, 2010 at 9:56 PM, Wayne Dick <wed@csulb.edu> wrote:

> Dear Harry,
> If you already got this please ignore all but the first paragraph.
> Adding a text alternative to non-material is a serious issue. That is
> why there are six cases of sufficient techniques to describe text
> alternatives.  To see this worked out completely look at:
>    http://www.tomjewett.com/accessibility/alt-text.html
> You certainly can use title and alt for different purposes.  Title
> text has a role in web programming.  Unlike alt, the title attribute
> does not serve accessibility alone.  It is the content author's title
> of the element.  It is public information, unlike say, an event
> handler attribute.  It has an intended use in HTML.  One application
> of this purpose is to trigger tool tips which indicate the title of
> the referenced element.
> The example where the text for title and alt are equal, is an example
> where you should not remove accessibility for one group to support
> another. The problem is with the assistive technology, not the coding.
> A page with alt text equal to title  is accessible if it meets the
> other accessibility criteria.  A page without title text will
> definitely be inaccessible to many readers with low vision.
> Consider a link with an icon image and no text.  Alt-text will do the
> job for someone with a screen reader. The tool tip, triggered by title
> text, will explain the icon to the user with low vision.  Both title
> text and alt text are needed.  There many features of browsers that
> support enlargement and other needs of low vision, but icons are
> impervious to these features.  The tool tip enables the user with low
> vision to know what the link means by using hover.
> Accessibility does not include the misuse of elements or attributes.
> Cheers,
> Wayne
Received on Wednesday, 18 August 2010 08:38:40 UTC

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