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alt text for NON-img elements?

From: Kevin Cole <kevin.cole@gallaudet.edu>
Date: Mon, 2 Apr 2012 15:22:49 -0400
Message-ID: <CANCGHig8uAPAvvAbogz2pvC-UXE8FEGkwRG3=hdm7gfDZXgJiw@mail.gmail.com>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Hi,

I'm new here, so forgive me if this isn't the right place to ask such
stuff.  I have a table that uses a Unicode character (&#9679;) as a bullet
to mark intersections of rows and columns. I used the Unicode because the
bullet entity ignored my font-size style.  I'm looking for a way to add
alternate text to the Unicode character for accessibility.

Specifically, I have rows which consist of a first column that is a project
title, and 13 columns following which represent criteria to meet.  The
headings for the 13 columns are simply the numbers 1 to 13, with a
13-column spanning row above them labeled "Research Priorities".

In an ideal world (I think), I'd like a screen reader to read out something
like "<project name>. 1, 9, 12." when columns 1 9 and 12 are the only ones
with the Unicode character.  Even better would be "Project: <project name>
Priorities: 1, 9, 12."I'd rather not resort to an img tag with an alt
attribute if possible.  Instead, something more akin to:

<td alt="...">...</td>

without abusing title="" would be more what I'm hoping for.

So, 1) is there something built-in that I've missed?  And 2) not, should
there be?

Thanks.
-- 
Physical
[image: [Photo: Kevin Cole]]
Kevin Cole, RHCE<http://www.gallaudet.edu/Gallaudet_Research_Institute/Staff/Cole_Kevin.html>
Research Applications Programmer
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Received on Monday, 2 April 2012 19:23:14 GMT

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