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

From: Charles McCathie Nevile <chaals@yandex-team.ru>
Date: Mon, 02 Dec 2013 13:58:56 +0100
To: RichardWarren <richard.warren@userite.com>, "Gregg Vanderheiden" <GV@trace.wisc.edu>
Cc: "Marco Zehe" <mzehe@mozilla.com>, "Detlev Fischer" <detlev.fischer@testkreis.de>, "HTML Accessibility Task Force" <public-html-a11y@w3.org>, "GLWAI Guidelines WG org" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <op.w7gucif1y3oazb@chaals.local>
Speaking purely as an individual…

On Wed, 27 Nov 2013 23:08:51 +0100, Gregg Vanderheiden <GV@trace.wisc.edu>  

> 2) Failures are not to encourage best practice - they are to document  
> things that are always failures (and commonly done).   If something is  
> not always a failure - then it should not be listed as one.   Failures  
> are not softened or hardened.  They are binary.    If ARIA can ever be  
> used to meet the SC then it would need to be added to the failure -- or  
> the failure needs to be removed.

I note that the Techniques are *informative*, i.e. they are not definitive.

I further note that the particular technique states

"If there is no alt attribute, then assistive technologies are not able to  
identify the image or to convey its purpose to the user." -  

Which explains what I think is wrong. I believe by "assistive  
technologies" the writers meant "screen readers" - the magnifier I  
occasionally use doesn't work with ARIA attributes in any browser I know  

I am unsure whether speech input systems don't generally identify images  
 from ARIA attributes.

So it's a good thing this technique is only informative - it looks to be  
far too narrowly focused for real-world applicability.

> Techniques need to be accessibility supported -- and ALT is the best bet  
> now.   But best bet and ONLY way  are different.    And a failure based  
> on one approach must mean that there IS NO other way to meet the SC.

In any event, I don't believe that users generally, outside the tiny  
fraction of people with accessibility needs who rely on modern screen  
readers, can rely on aria attributes in place of the alt attribute. The  
situation for figure/figcaption is different, although I am not clear to  
what extent.



> Gregg
> --------------------------------------------------------
> Gregg Vanderheiden Ph.D.
> Director Trace R&D Center
> Professor Industrial & Systems Engineering
> and Biomedical Engineering University of Wisconsin-Madison
> Technical Director - Cloud4all Project - http://Cloud4all.info
> Co-Director, Raising the Floor - International -  
> http://Raisingthefloor.org
> and the Global Public Inclusive Infrastructure Project -  http://GPII.net
> On Nov 27, 2013, at 5:54 AM, RichardWarren <richard.warren@userite.com>  
> wrote:
>> 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.
>> Richard
>> From: Marco Zehe
>> Sent: Wednesday, November 27, 2013 8:18 AM
>> To: Detlev Fischer
>> Cc: David MacDonald ; HTML Accessibility Task Force ; WCAG ;  
>> public-comments-wcag20@w3.org
>> 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  
>> <detlev.fischer@testkreis.de> wrote:
>>> The 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  
>>> cases.)
>> 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 softened.
>> CSS background images and so forth are discussions for other types of  
>> success criteria and deserve their own topic.
>> Marco
>> Richard Warren
>> Technical Manager
>> Website Auditing Limited (Userite)
>> http://www.website-accessibility.com

Charles McCathie Nevile - Consultant (web standards) CTO Office, Yandex
       chaals@yandex-team.ru         Find more at http://yandex.com
Received on Monday, 2 December 2013 12:59:43 UTC

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