W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-validator@w3.org > August 2002

Re: ideas for alternative text

From: M Chamlee <developer@pobox.com>
Date: Tue, 20 Aug 2002 09:08:02 -0400
Message-ID: <002901c2484a$9dd9ed80$0200a8c0@wanderer>
To: <www-validator@w3.org>

> There are two attributes available: "title" which
> _should_ be displayed as tool tip
When you say should be displayed as a tool tip, what do you mean?  I'm not familiar with that term.

> text browser and GUI browser should display the same in this
> example.

As I mentioned before, and I will repeat here, the functionality of a well-developed commercial layout depends greatly on the subtle graphic devices which sighted viewers have come to expect and therefore take for granted.  In attempting to create more navigable resources for screen-read visitors within such layouts, extra information should be in place to substitute for the graphic context and navigational cues.  A screen-read visitor will miss these cues because the content will be read in a linear/ vertical pattern instead of with the intended and necessary graphic nuances.  

If you are asking "why" with respect to the immediate example I created, the same still applies.
 
>> Once again, the graphic positioning on the page would have provided enough
>> additional navigation cues to the sighted visitor to allow for the "apply
>> now" to be self evident as tied to the brochure offered.  When screenread it
>> may not be, and such a tag would help make the connection much more assured
>> for a screen-read visitor.

> Then you have a wrong structured document. It should be, in both type
> of browser, clear what you mean with "Apply Now!".

There are very compelling and market-backed reasons why graphic devices are extremely effective in commercial communications.  Decisions about graphic design for a commercial website are based on the intended demographics.  If a user cannot "see" these graphic devises in use, it is unfair to expect them to retain the same level of information about navigational cues to which these devices allude.  

For this reason, a SCREENREAD attribute within a link tag, and the ability to call on content to specifically supplement material on a page for screen-read users will greatly increase the ability for visually-impared visitors to access and navigate a commercial website.    

Link information would be more descriptive without dependency on visual cues, and additional screenreader-only content would be able to replace information that is visually-based.  

It will also provide these supplements in a way that does not interfere with the experience a sighted user will have in viewing the full context of the website.  Since this is the key problem most web developers list as a reason for not fully supporting visitors with visual impairments, it makes sense that this should be a focusing point for development of supplementary tags and attributes for the growing number of visitors covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act. 

-Melody Chamlee
Received on Tuesday, 20 August 2002 09:08:06 GMT

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