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Re: Animated GIFs and accessibility guidelines

From: Sean B. Palmer <sean@mysterylights.com>
Date: Thu, 15 Feb 2001 15:13:48 -0000
Message-ID: <004101c09762$466fdfe0$efd893c3@z5n9x1>
To: "Brian Kelly" <b.kelly@ukoln.ac.uk>, <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
> Guideline 7 at http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG10/ says
> "Ensure that moving, blinking, scrolling, or auto-updating objects or
> may be paused or stopped." and
> "Until user agents allow users to freeze moving content, avoid movement
> pages."
> How does this apply to animated GIFs?

[IMHO:] Animated GIFs can feature moving, blinking, or scrolling, so if you
use them and do not have an adequate form of control, you are in violation
of the guideline. I suppose you might be able to have a link with some
scripting hack to turn off the animation, but that wouldn't work in some
browsers, so you still couldn't cionsider that you have passed the

I bleieve the rationale is that some people can't focus on moving images,
or blinking lights cause them discomfort, or even seizures (flickering is a
P1, everything else P2). Animated images are a nuiscance to many, and you
have to ask yourself if there is anything to be gained in having them in
your Web page. Is there information in there that can *only* be displayed
using an animation? Can't you link to it?

Kindest Regards,
Sean B. Palmer
@prefix : <http://webns.net/roughterms/> .
[ :name "Sean B. Palmer" ] :hasHomepage <http://infomesh.net/sbp/> .
Received on Thursday, 15 February 2001 10:19:26 UTC

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