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Need 1.1 L1 SC basic requirement to provide text alternative

From: Michael Cooper <michaelc@watchfire.com>
Date: Thu, 23 Jun 2005 12:48:30 -0400
Message-ID: <A0666B3C59F1634290FDC88674D87C3202125009@1WFEMAIL.ottawa.watchfire.com>
To: "WAI GL \(E-mail\)" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>

I've been going through HTML techniques remapping them to the guidelines after all the recent changes. The updated proposed mappings will be available on the list soon. Meanwhile, I've had a problem with the mapping process. Guideline 1.1 is about text alternatives. The first four Level 1 Success Criteria provide requirements for information, functional content, sensory experience, and non information-bearing content. My problem is that when I map HTML techniques e.g., for alt text for image, I feel I have to map to all four of these success criteria. This violates my idealism that each technique should map to one success criterion, and also makes it more difficult to explain the rationale behind the mappings.

Looking at the guideline more closely, it seems to me the real problem is that these four success criteria describe characteristics text alternatives should have, for different uses of non-text content. But there isn't a success criterion that says to provide text alternatives in the first place. That is probably assumed to be implied, but I think it should be stated. I would then map the HTML techniques to that success criterion, and probably rely on General Techniques to cover the qualitative issues covered by these other four success criteria.

I therefore propose we add a new Level 1 Success Criterion in Guideline 1.1 (or re-add since this has existed in earlier drafts): "Provide text alternatives for non-text content." Full stop there, and the remaining success criteria following it would explain more.


--- Signature ---

Michael Cooper
Accessibility Product Manager, Watchfire
1 Hines Rd Suite 200, Kanata, ON  K2K 3C7  Canada
Tel: +1 (613) 599-3888 x4019
Fax: +1 (613) 599-4661
Email: michaelc@watchfire.com
Web: http://www.watchfire.com/
Received on Thursday, 23 June 2005 16:48:37 UTC

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