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Re: WCAG2 Conformance Questions

From: David Woolley <forums@david-woolley.me.uk>
Date: Sat, 16 Aug 2008 13:57:17 +0100
Message-ID: <48A6CEAD.20402@david-woolley.me.uk>
To: "w3c-wai-ig@w3.org" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
CC: "public-comments-wcag20@w3.org" <public-comments-wcag20@w3.org>

Peter Thiessen wrote:

> Right, the guideline "1.1.1 Non-text Content: All non-text content
> that is presented to the user has a text alternative that serves the
> equivalent purpose, except for the situations listed below (Level A)"
> explicitly mentions audio and video in the description but does not
> mention images. I had to go digging for a reference to an image alt tag

Firstly we are talking about alt attributes, as HTML has no alt tags (or 
elements).  Also, we are really talking about the use of empty alt 
attributes, as the grammar requires alt attributes be present.

To me the hyperlinked definition of non-text content clearly covers 
images and, in fact, avoids the obvious trap of "image replacement" of 
text wrongly being considered as being text content.

One reason for not stressing alt attributes is that they are the one 
accessibility feature that is widely known, if not widely used, and many 
people equate their use with a web page being "accessible".   The other 
reason is that the guidelines apply to languages other than HTML, which 
may not have an alt attribute, as such.

What does concern me here is that images intended to produce an 
emotional response are not covered.  Most web designers would probably 
prefer them to be classified as purely decorative, as it can be 
embarrassing to make that purpose explicit, but the definition of purely 
decorative excludes items with no function, and such images most 
definitely have a function as far as the author of the page is concerned.

Such usage is so important that advertising codes of standards have to 
explicitly ban some such usages.

> I would say there is sufficient information and I was more so looking
> for a clever work around this. As a developer, I'm often looking for a
> hack if I'm told I can't do something <grin />.

That's the big problem for accessibility.  Very few people want to 
produce accessible content; most just want to produce legal or 
conformance marked contents.

David Woolley
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Received on Saturday, 16 August 2008 12:56:37 UTC

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