W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html-a11y@w3.org > March 2012

Re: Expanding longdesc use

From: David Singer <singer@apple.com>
Date: Thu, 15 Mar 2012 11:30:40 -0700
Cc: HTML Accessibility Task Force <public-html-a11y@w3.org>, W3C WAI-XTECH <wai-xtech@w3.org>
Message-id: <5712AA17-258D-4CDE-8EF6-7A364BE75067@apple.com>
To: David MacDonald <david100@sympatico.ca>

On Mar 15, 2012, at 11:05 , David MacDonald wrote:

> There has been some discussion about describedby as a replacement for longdesc. However, screen reader user would have to encounter the description twice (once on the image and once on the page), which by definition is "long". The long text on the page clutters the page for most sighted users. (a deterrent for implementation by webmasters)

I think you are bumping up against a tension here that we have never really resolved.  It lies between

"you haven't really provided for accessibility unless there are features that are explicitly and exclusively there for accessibility" 

"provisions which are invisible to the non-accessibility user and author tend to be poorly authored; accessibility as a natural consequence of good design for everyone is a better goal"

I think a goal of having descriptions, transcripts, alternative text, alternative media, available and potentially useful to everyone would be good, myself -- I lean towards the second.

David Singer
Multimedia and Software Standards, Apple Inc.
Received on Thursday, 15 March 2012 18:31:43 UTC

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