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Re: ARIA10 and requiring alt attributes ( LC-2897)

From: <akirkpat@adobe.com>
Date: Tue, 04 Mar 2014 18:51:14 +0000
Message-Id: <E1WKuQs-0004mG-1g@jessica.w3.org>
To: EOWG <w3c-wai-eo@w3.org>
Cc: public-comments-wcag20@w3.org
 Dear EOWG ,

The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines Working Group has reviewed the
comments you sent [1] on the Last Call Working Draft [2] of the Techniques
for WCAG 2.0 published on 16 Jan 2014. Thank you for having taken the time
to review the document and to send us comments!

The Working Group's response to your comment is included below.

Please review it carefully and let us know by email at
public-comments-wcag20@w3.org if you agree with it or not before 7 march
2014. In case of disagreement, you are requested to provide a specific
solution for or a path to a consensus with the Working Group. If such a
consensus cannot be achieved, you will be given the opportunity to raise a
formal objection which will then be reviewed by the Director during the
transition of this document to the next stage in the W3C Recommendation


For the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines Working Group,
Michael Cooper
W3C Staff Contact

 1. http://www.w3.org/mid/E1WESt0-00088U-1U@stuart.w3.org
 2. http://www.w3.org/WAI/GL/2014/WD-WCAG20-TECHS-20140107/


Your comment on F65: Failure of Success Criterion 1.1.1 due to omitting the
alt attribute ...:
> Comment (Including rationale for any proposed change):
> NOTE: Below is a rough summary of EOWG participants' comments, which
> EOWG did not have time to polish and approve. Please see the direct
> perspectives archived at
> <https://www.w3.org/WAI/EO/wiki/WCAG_Comments_February_2014#alt_issue>
> EOWG is glad that the WCAG WG is developing more WAI-ARIA Techniques.
> However, in reviewing the issues around ARIA10 and F65, we have
> significant concerns that misunderstandings would lead to lack of
> appropriate alternative text for many users. Allowing aria-labeledby and
> not requiring the HTML alt attribute could lead to misuse of
> aria-labeledby when the alt attribute is a better solution.
> The use cases cited and the examples in ARIA10 do not seem compelling
> enough balanced against the risk of misunderstandings that could lead
> web authors to conclude that aria-labeledby can be used interchangeably
> with the HTML alt attribute. Additionally, if HTML alt attributes were
> no longer a clear requirement, it would "muddy the water" for less
> careful developers and more of them would just not put any alternative
> text at all.
> Givens: 1. aria-labeledby is not supported by the tools that many people
> still use today. 2. Many developers don't understand
> accessibility-support. 3. Some developers like to use the latest hot
> markup just for the sake of it. Thus a likely scenario: some developers
> use aria-labeledby in cases where the alt attribute is a better
> solution, just because it's new, and not realizing its limitations. We
> also find compelling that alt attributes display onscreen when images
> are disabled and aria attributes do not, thus the outcomes are not
> equivalent.
> EOWG asks the WCAG WG to continue to consider how this issue is
> addressed. Perhaps allowing aria-labeledby instead of HTML alt attribute
> is not worth the risk? If the WCAG WG decides to leave ARIA10 and amend
> F65, we strongly urge you to provide very clear guidance about use and
> cautions, for example, advising authors that the alt attribute is the
> best solution for providing alternative text in almost all situations,
> and should be used whenever; and including the cautions about using
> aria-labeledby instead of the alt attribute. (Probably this goes in
> Understanding and linked to from the Techniques?)

Working Group Resolution (LC-2897):
Thank you for your comment on ARIA10 and F65.  

The working group has updated ARIA10 to restrict the use of ARIA10 to
situations where the element does not allow the alt attribute.

For F65, the working group has adjusted the language to allow for ARIA
attributes to be used on image elements, but the test procedure explicitly
calls out the need to verify that the attribute used is accessibility
supported or else the failure will apply.  In addition, F65 also indicates
that use of the alt attribute is the preferred way of providing image
accessibility to encourage its ongoing use.

Received on Tuesday, 4 March 2014 18:51:16 UTC

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