RE: ACTION-886 definition of text alternatives for text content

Hi Greg,

Good points. The only small thing I would change is that "the paragraph after the chart" IS a text alternative (by WCAG), just not a RECOGNIZED one as required by UAAG.

Unless you're already doing it, I will try to add your edits to a new proposed definition that I will send out in another email.



T 416 977 6000 x3957
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From: Greg Lowney []
Sent: September-10-13 10:42 PM
Cc: WAI-UA list
Subject: Re: ACTION-886 definition of text alternatives for text content

I'm okay with the new text in its context, but it's worth noting that it would be way too broad if it stood on its own: almost any HTML attribute might count, since whether or not a text attribute "provides expanded information" seems subjective. Luckily, the text above it for "alternative content" puts more restrictions on what constitutes alternative content, and presumably that also narrows what is "text alternatives for text content". If you wanted the definition to stand alone you could modify it to say "*alternative content* that is programmatically...".)

However, there is a more significant problem with the bullet item "text alternatives for non-text content": the text says that the alternative content must be programmatically associated, but that seems contradicted by the the examples.

To correct that you could add a sentence to the effect that "Note that a description in the paragraph after the chart would not qualify as alternative content unless associated with the chart using ARIA describedby attribute or equivalent." Or you could merge that into the previous sentence as "For example, an image of a chart might have two text alternatives: a description in the paragraph after the chart, as long as the two are linked by a method such as ARIA describedby, and a short text alternative for the chart summarizing its content."

Hmm. Technically, one could argue that anything an author stuffs into the alt attribute counts as text alternatives, regardless of how useful it is, because the alt attribute is reserved for alternative content. On the other hand, if the alt text doesn't satisfy the criterion of "[fulfilling] essentially the same function or purpose as the original content", then suddenly it's not alternative content. Would alt saying "a graph described in the following paragraph" meet that bar? If not, then either the example or the definition is off.


-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: ACTION-886 definition of text alternatives for text content
From: Richards, Jan <><>
To: WAI-UA list <><>
Date: 9/10/2013 11:51 AM
+1 to Jim's addition

From: Jim Allan []
Sent: September-10-13 11:38 AM
To: WAI-ua
Subject: ACTION-886 definition of text alternatives for text content

added a first bullet. nothing else has changed in the definition.
text alternatives for text content: Text that is programmatically associated with text content to provide expanded information. For example, an abbreviation (or acronym) may provide an expansion of the shortened word or initialized words (<abbr title="User Agent Accessibility Guidelines">UAAG</abbr>).

ttached all the code for the glossary entry.

Jim Allan, Accessibility Coordinator & Webmaster
Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired
1100 W. 45th St., Austin, Texas 78756
voice 512.206.9315    fax: 512.206.9264
"We shape our tools and thereafter our tools shape us." McLuhan, 1964

Received on Wednesday, 11 September 2013 12:56:44 UTC