Re: WCAG considering amending F65 to NOT fail missing ALT text if title or aria-label is present

The Techniques doc
should first document this as a sufficient ARIA technique for SC 1.1.1 before the failure can be documented.

As commented in the survey feedback,  it is important to provide guidance to developers when two or more attributes for text alt are present in the code. I suppose both alt and aria-labelledby / aria-label / title should be identical. Aria-describedby should be different from the alt.

I have read and re-read the Intro to Aria
and every time come away with the  conclusion that  ARIA is meant for rich content that cannot be marked ordinarily by HTML only. And these elements are interactive elements that have role, state, attributes besides name, description. The ARIA specs repeatedly identifies these as objects or custom widgets:
"The incorporation of WAI-ARIA is a way for an author to provide proper semantics for custom widgets to make these widgets accessible, usable, and interoperable with assistive technologies. This specification identifies the types of widgets and structures that are commonly recognized by accessibility products,..."
A critical ingredient is the "role", so when one repurposes a standard HTML element as something with a new role, ARIA kicks in.
"Roles are a common property of platform accessibility APIs
 which assistive technologies use to provide the user with effective presentation and interaction. This role taxonomy includes interaction widgets and elements denoting document structure." 
"States and properties are used to declare important attributes of an element that affect and describe interaction." 
So "interactivity" seems to course through every vein of ARIA. 
And there's lot of rich interactive content  that can be made accessible with ARIA  when browsers and AT implement the specs uniformly.
That's where efforts should be focussed. 
So from the reading of the ARIA specs I do not think fixing the alternative text for a plain non interactive image is its primary goal.  

A bigger concern is the accessible name / text alternative computation  logic (identified as a feature at risk):the logic makes the ARIA attributes take precedence over native elements / attributes. The logic is fine for elements that have been repurposed with a new ARIA role; else the native markup should take precedence.

Sailesh Panchang

On Wed, 11/27/13, James Nurthen <> wrote:

 Subject: Re: WCAG considering amending F65 to NOT fail missing ALT text if title or aria-label is present
 To: "RichardWarren" <>
 Cc: "Marco Zehe" <>, "Detlev Fischer" <>, "HTML Accessibility Task Force" <>, "WCAG" <>,
 Date: Wednesday, November 27, 2013, 11:21 AM
 F65 is a
 Failure Technique for 1.1.1. It is stating that if you fail
 F65 then you fail 1.1.1
 1.1.1 States"All non-text
 content that is presented to the user has a text
 alternative that serves the equivalent purpose, except
 for the situations listed below..... "
 The definition of text alternative in WCAG is
 "Text that is programmatically associated
 with non-text content or referred to from text
 that is programmatically associated with non-text content.
 Programmatically associated text is text whose location
 can be programmatically determined from the non-text
 I'm don't see how a missing alt text,
 when the text alternative is supplied by another means such
 as aria-label, aria-labelledby or even title, fails 1.1.1 -
 assuming they are accessibility supported.
 On Nov 27, 2013, at 3:54 AM, RichardWarren <>
 I fully agree with Marco,
 >> I now 
 declare that I firmly stand with the opinion that F65 should
 NOT be softened. 
 Alt attributes are simple, clear, easy to use and
 understand, compatible 
 with accessibility software and tools.
 From: Marco
 Sent: Wednesday, November 27, 2013 8:18 AM
 To: Detlev
 Cc: David MacDonald
 ; HTML 
 Accessibility Task Force ; WCAG ;
 Subject: Re: WCAG considering amending F65 to
 NOT fail missing ALT 
 text if title or aria-label is present
 On Nov 26, 2013, at 9:53 PM, Detlev Fischer <>
   intended change of F65 is driven by the aim to publish
 more ARIA Techniques to 
   establish ARIA as part of the toolbox, hopefully to be
 picked up by devs to 
   make all sorts of fancy web stuff more accessible. I
 believe that this will be 
   seen as rightful aim by most - after all, we can't
 stop the fancy stuff out 
   there, we can only hope to provide the means to make it
 accessible. If the 
   ARIA Techniques help doing that, this also requires some
 revisiting of Common 
   Failures to even out the inconsistencies that Jared has
 pointed out. (To be 
   more precise, this is necessary if we stick to the rule
 that finding a failure 
   in the test of a Failure Technique will fail the SC in all
 Hi all, 
 one thing to consider is that, if a web developer
 isn't going to put alt on 
 an image, they're just as unlikely to put aria-label on
 it. There is a 
 bullet-proof way to make images accessible, which is
 backwards compatible into 
 the 90s. There simply is no reason to soften F65 in my
 opinion, by allowing ARIA 
 on an image. Alt text is established, and those familiar
 with accessibility 
 including ARIA are also familiar with alt text.
 I agree with janina's comment about ARIA not going
 away, but it should also 
 be not the catch-all solution for just anything. It has a
 specific purpose, to 
 bridge gaps, and that's what it is doing. And an img tag
 is nothing new, nor is 
 it something fancy, and there is an established way to make
 it accessible.
 So despite my earlier concerns re CSS background
 images, I now declare that 
 I firmly stand with the opinion that F65 should NOT be
 CSS background images and so forth are discussions for
 other types of 
 success criteria and deserve their own topic.
 Technical Manager
 Website Auditing Limited (Userite)

Received on Wednesday, 27 November 2013 18:28:52 UTC