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RE: Allow alt attribute with the span element

From: Carney, Amy L (EED) <amy.carney@alaska.gov>
Date: Fri, 6 Oct 2017 16:16:48 +0000
To: "Michael A. Peters" <mpeters@domblogger.net>, "whatwg@whatwg.org" <whatwg@whatwg.org>, "w3c-wai-ig@w3.org >> WAI Interest Group" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <17DBE4E3420AC747AC431B62EE1C800C01451974AE@SOAJNUEXMB3.soa.alaska.gov>
I found this video by Marcy Sutton to be helpful when creating accessible icon buttons:


Amy Carney
Webmaster / Pub Spec
Alaska State Libraries, Archives, and Museums
(907) 465.1313

-----Original Message-----
From: Michael A. Peters [mailto:mpeters@domblogger.net] 
Sent: Friday, October 6, 2017 7:16 AM
To: whatwg@whatwg.org; w3c-wai-ig@w3.org >> WAI Interest Group <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Subject: Allow alt attribute with the span element

With images, the alt attribute can and should be used to give a description of an image for users who can not see the image.

With text, some glyphs are pictographs that have a meaning. For example, 
U+1F502 is a pictograph indicating single loop, but it is meaningless if
you can not see it.

Even if screen readers can specify the codepoint and/or map the 
codepoint to a description (do they?) sometimes fonts define PUA 
codepoints for pictograph glyphs that are not official.

A span element with a title attribute does not always solve this 
problem, sometimes the glyph is in a button element that has a title 
attribute describing what the button will do rather than the what the 
current state is.

For example, a button may show a single loop indicating the media is 
currently in single loop mode but have a title attribute specifying that 
pressing it enables continuous loop mode.

If there was an alt attribute on a span inside the button, screen 
readers could treat the span with a pictograph the same way it would 
treat an image child of a button attribute and describe the current 
pictograph to the end user.

If there is already a solution to this issue, I apologize, I could not 
find one.

We (er, WhatWG / W3C) could just add alt to the global attribute list 
too, rather than just span. Or come up with a semantic pictograph 
element specifically for this (just like we have tt and code).

Thank you for opinions.

Received on Friday, 6 October 2017 16:17:46 UTC

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