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Guideline 1.1.1 suggestion

From: William Loughborough <love26@gorge.net>
Date: Tue, 27 Mar 2007 21:00:56 -0700
Message-ID: <4609E878.5040407@gorge.net>
To: public-comments-wcag20@w3.org

Template for comments on WCAG 2.0 Last Call Draft and Support Documents

Commenter: William Loughborough  
Email: love26@gorge.net   
Affiliation: Smith-Kettlewell Institute
Date: 27 March, 2007


2) Item Number  For example  "Intro" for introduction,  "1.1" for a 
guideline 1.1;   "3.2.1" for success criterion 3.2.1;     "H-56" for 
HTML technique number H-56 1.1.1

3) Part of Item (Heading)   Enter the heading for the section you are 
commenting on.  E.g. "Intent", or "Description", or "Examples", etc.
Guideline 1.1

4) Comment Type (G, T, E,  or Q)

5) Comment (Including rationale for any proposed change)

The fourth bullet in 1.1.1 says "If non-text content is pure decoration, 
or used only for visual formatting, or if it is not presented to users, 
it is implemented such
that it can be ignored by assistive technology."

The strong implication is that this provision is there to make for less 
"babble" of unwanted descriptions of items with little/no non-visual 
intent. This is typically
done by using "" (null alt-text) in place of "alt", "longdesc", whatever 
and does make for a less-cluttered audio environment in the case of a 
screen reader.

Of greater significance is that it erects an exclusionary wall around a 
blind user who might be working in a Web Shop and in order to properly 
deal with the
elements in question would be shut out from meaningful communication 
with co-workers.

This should be re-examined from that point of view.

6) Proposed Change (Be specific)

"pure decoration" should not be exempt from descriptive mandates via 
text. It is OK to make it easy for some blanket filtering, perhaps by 
putting "decor" at the
beginning of the alt-text and having the screen reader know therefrom to 
not voice that one.
Received on Wednesday, 28 March 2007 04:01:35 UTC

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