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Request for PFWG WAI review of Omitting alt Attribute for Critical Content

From: Laura Carlson <laura.lee.carlson@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 23 Oct 2007 08:04:35 -0500
Message-ID: <1c8dbcaa0710230604r2432fdc7qfc9da3c83fa8aaa3@mail.gmail.com>
To: wai-xtech@w3.org, "Al Gilman" <alfred.s.gilman@ieee.org>, "Judy Brewer" <jbrewer@w3.org>, "Michael Cooper" <cooper@w3.org>, wai-liaison@w3.org
Cc: "HTML5 WG" <public-html@w3.org>

The HTML 5 working group is questioning and debating the need for the
alt attribute on critical content. In fact, the current HTML 5
Editor's Draft allows instances where critical content is allowed to
have no alt attribute on the img element.

Alternate text is essential for accessibility. There needs to be a
markup solution to indicate whether or not the alternate text of an
image is critical to understand the content - omitting such an
important attribute is ambiguous, and doesn't help anyone. The problem
is differentiating between ignorant and intentional lack of text.

The issue is detailed at:

In order for this debate to reach a satisfactory resolution, review of
this issue and advice from the PFWG and WAI on the potential
accessibility impact of omitting alt attribute for critical content in
HTML 5 would be appreciated.

Thank you.

Best Regards,

Laura L. Carlson
Steve Faulkner
Gregory J. Rosmaita
Joshue O Connor
Robert Burns
HTML WG Members
Received on Tuesday, 23 October 2007 13:05:01 UTC

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