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RE: Animated GIFs and accessibility guidelines

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Sun, 18 Feb 2001 22:31:32 -0500 (EST)
To: HARRIS Rachel D <rachel.d.harris@co.multnomah.or.us>
cc: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.30.0102182227190.28340-100000@tux.w3.org>
Well, I try to avoid going "head-to-head" with people, since as I understand
it that means the sort of confrontational approach where neither side is
intersted in giving ground. But I have, as part of my work in the Authoring
Tool Accesibility Guidelines Group, spent time engaging in what I hope is
productive dialogue with some of the Publisher Team, among others at
Microsoft. So have their own accessibility deaprtment, as I understand

Part of the reason why the Authoring Tools group is looking for organisations
who are publicly prepared to say "we want to buy things that meet the highest
possibe conformance to ATAG" is that this provides a lever that can be used
by engineering teams who have to negotiate their priorities with marketing
departments and various other parts of an organistation. (Or can be used by
marketing departments as a lever when etc...)

(If anyone from Publisher is reading this, I am happy to come back and look
some more at things that can be done, as I am generally to  talk to
developers of Authoring tools).


Charles McCN

On Fri, 16 Feb 2001, HARRIS Rachel D wrote:

  As I spent hours and hours trying to resolve ADA issues to be able to post a
  newsletter created by someone in Publisher, I came across this site that
  added SALT to the wound.
  <http://www.microsoft.com/office/using/weblife/publisherdemo.htm> .  They
  are bragging about how easy and wonderful it is, yet they don't even have a
  simple "alt" tag built in when they turn everything into a text embedded

  Please, has anyone gone head to head with the makers of these products?
  Don't they pay attention to W3c at all?  Maybe I am na´ve, but I want them
  to explain their thinking to me and how they will address the very important
  ADA issues.

  Thanks for any and all responses as I get ready to write to them directly.


  ~*~* ~*~
  Rachel Harris, M.S., L.P.C., N.C.C.
  Multnomah County Department of Community Justice
  Web Site Coordinator
  501 SE Hawthorne Blvd Suite 250.  Portland, OR 97214
  Phone- (503) 988-6048  Fax-(503) 988-3990  TDD-(503) 248-3561
  INTEROFFICE MAIL: B503/Suite 250

  		-----Original Message-----
  		From:	David Poehlman [mailto:poehlman1@home.com]
  		Sent:	Thursday, February 15, 2001 10:23 AM
  		To:	ADAM GUASCH-MELENDEZ; w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
  		Subject:	Re: Animated GIFs and accessibility

  		in answer to your question of whether or not we can find the
  		link, yes.  I can click on it but for some reason as with
  		internal links, using jfw 3.7 and ie5.5sp1 I become
  disoriented as to
  		where I am on the page when I follow them.

  		----- Original Message -----
  		To: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
  		Sent: February 15, 2001 11:52 AM
  		Subject: Re: Animated GIFs and accessibility guidelines

  		Animated GIFs shouldn't be a problem, since they can be
  stopped by any
  		browser that can display them (at least among the major
  browsers - I'm
  		not sure if this is true for WebTV or other "internet

  		On the Bobby site, listing the sponsors wouldn't be
  appropriate for
  		the ALT text, but would be appropriate for a LONGDESC. The
  		may have decided that since the image is a link to detailed
  		information about their sponsors, that wasn't necessary. I'd
  say it's
  		a judgement call, and an defensible choice. However, running
  		against that page, in the Priority 1 User Checks it says:

  		   "Do you have a descriptive (D) link in addition to

  		which - regardless of conformance with the WAI guidelines -
  		that the site doesn't actually implement what the Bobby
  		consider to be "best practices." There are several other
  areas, such
  		as in the extensive use of tables for layout, where the site
  		to move away from theoretical ideals. On the other hand, the
  		seems to work, which to me is by far the most important
  concern. The
  		WAI guidelines, are, after all, guidelines. They're intended
  to help
  		people develop accessible sites, but if the focus becomes
  adherence to
  		every checkpoint, instead of the overall goal of
  		they've failed in their purpose.

  		Another question related to that site - they've got a link
  to skip the
  		navigation stuff and go directly to the content, which is
  great. The
  		link, however, is a transparent gif, with the ALT text
  providing the
  		description of how it's to be used. Will screen readers
  currently in
  		use pick this up properly?

  		>>> Brian Kelly <b.kelly@ukoln.ac.uk> 02/15/01 04:08AM >>>
  		Guideline 7 at
  		"Ensure that moving, blinking, scrolling, or auto-updating
  objects or
  		may be paused or stopped."
  		"Until user agents allow users to freeze moving content,
  		movement in

  		How does this apply to animated GIFs?

  		Does it apply, for example, to the animated sponsorship ads
  at, for

  		I understood that movement on screens could cause screen
  readers to
  		their focus.  Does this happen with animated GIFs?  If so,
  is this a

  		Also, while looking at the Bobby page, the alt text for the
  GIF simply
  		"Scrolling list of sponsors, without mentioning their names
  		etc.).  Again does this conform to the WAI guidelines?

  		Like Nick, I don't want to pick on the Bobby site or the
  CAST staff,
  		but it
  		is a Web site that those with interests in accessibility
  will look at.


  		Brian (hoping this isn't an FAQ)

  		Brian Kelly
  		University of Bath
  		BA2 7AY
  		Email: B.Kelly@ukoln.ac.uk
  		Phone: (+44) 1225 323943

Charles McCathieNevile    http://www.w3.org/People/Charles  phone: +61 409 134 136
W3C Web Accessibility Initiative     http://www.w3.org/WAI    fax: +1 617 258 5999
Location: I-cubed, 110 Victoria Street, Carlton VIC 3053, Australia
(or W3C INRIA, Route des Lucioles, BP 93, 06902 Sophia Antipolis Cedex, France)
Received on Sunday, 18 February 2001 22:31:36 UTC

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