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RE: Alt is not a description (was Re: when to use longdesc for images)

From: John Colby <John.Colby@uce.ac.uk>
Date: Tue, 21 Dec 2004 14:37:21 -0000
Message-ID: <107DE25EC0216C45AEF670016024245F022A713C@exchangea.staff.uce.ac.uk>
To: "Lonie Watson" <lw@nomensa.com>, "John Colby" <John.Colby@uce.ac.uk>, <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
John Colby wrote:-
    "Is this not the purpose of background images in CSS? Enhancing the
looks of the page whilst not adding to the content?"

    It is the purpose. But that said, it is to a degree exclusionary.

    As with most things there is a balance to be sought. In this case
between permitting a visually impaired person to join in the emotive aspects
of some imagery, and not cluttering the auditory experience with too much


I am coming across this problem when trying to describe the pervading ochre colour of a mineral processing plant (this for a audio-description for a video).  I have received the following advice from colleagues

"My take would be to name the colour, and describe it in terms of its richness, vividness, and similarity to  . . , and explain the cause of that colour (oxide etc). You are obviously trying to get across that it’s an unusual colour, so say that, and maybe say what is the more usual colour. But overall I would not labour it too much." (RC)

"some things are just not possible. I always remember a former manager of mine (who was completely, profoundly deaf from birth) saying that music was an alien concept to him. He used to ask me what it was like but the only thing I could do was tell him how it made me feel. Seeing as certain colours are meant to provoke certain responses (eg, green = peaceful), perhaps that's the only way you can describe them - but as you say, it could never be fully appreciated." (EN)

Both of these are people are good friends and give me mountains of advice - and both are involved with disability. As Léonie.says - it is a balance.And I feel that this balance can only be struck with experience and experimentation. However some guidelines would be good - if anyone were brave enught to try to write them :)




Received on Tuesday, 21 December 2004 14:38:52 UTC

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