Re: What now ALT?

On 10/3/07, John Foliot - Stanford Online Accessibility Program
<> wrote:
> In light of the fact that a judge today ruled that the suit against
> can become a class action suit, and that one of the key
> complaints is that many of the images do not have alt text, or appropriate
> alt text...
> This writer wonders aloud what the judge would think about sites that
> deliberately did not include alt text, or did not programmatically allow for
> the inclusion of alt text...
> It would seem pretty fool-hardy to create an online application or site that
> did not allow for the insertion of alt text; especially if the above results
> in serious grief for  A future spec might be conformant without
> alt text, but a judge might still award damages; making the exercise
> theoretically moot.
> Score one for social engineering!
> JF

Things like this should not affect the decisions of this working
group.  Universality and accessibility are still design principles of
this group, and those design principles will affect the decisions of
this group.

Regardless of what markup is used, we all agree that documents should
be universally accessible.  No one has suggested otherwise, and I
really hope this subject was not raised to imply that anyone is
against accessibility.

It is possible today to create an HTML document that meets all
programmatically computable conformance criteria and still completely
fail at accessibility.  This will always be the case - markup that can
be used is markup that can be abused.  Since some countries are
extending their "disabled rights" laws to include web page markup, it
follows that you can still write a web page that passed an HTML
validator but still breaks the law of your land, and again, this is
independent of the alt attribute itself.

I seriously doubt this decision could be construed to legally codify
the HTML alt attribute.  If HTML 5, 6, or 7 can be conformant and
accessible without an attribute named "alt", no judge should care or
would care.

Jon Barnett

Received on Saturday, 6 October 2007 03:59:14 UTC