W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > wai-xtech@w3.org > August 2008

Re: Flickr and alt

From: Patrick H. Lauke <redux@splintered.co.uk>
Date: Tue, 19 Aug 2008 08:10:08 +0100
Message-ID: <48AA71D0.40107@splintered.co.uk>
To: John Foliot <foliot@wats.ca>
CC: 'David Poehlman' <david.poehlman@handsontechnologeyes.com>, 'Jon Barnett' <jonbarnett@gmail.com>, "'Philip TAYLOR (Ret'd)'" <P.Taylor@rhul.ac.uk>, 'Anne van Kesteren' <annevk@opera.com>, 'James Graham' <jg307@cam.ac.uk>, 'Steven Faulkner' <faulkner.steve@gmail.com>, 'Ian Hickson' <ian@hixie.ch>, 'W3C WAI-XTECH' <wai-xtech@w3.org>, public-html@w3.org

John Foliot wrote:

> Most if not all countries in the "Western" hemisphere have legislation which
> protects human rights and the rights of individuals that may be
> disadvantaged due to a disability.

Thinking about the UK DDA for a minute, there is however a "reasonable 
adjustment" context, and it's based on case law. Leaving the 
jurisdictions aside, if a blind/VI user wanted to sue Flickr, would a 
jury/judge decide that yes, the fact that the photo-sharing site didn't 
mandate its users to also provide adequate alternative text to describe 
their photos is a clear case of discrimination? In the case of Flickr 
(whose whole "raison d'etre" centres around photos), this may be a 
stretch. If we were talking about a more general-purpose CMS/authoring 
site, that'd be another matter.

> This is your choice.  This is not a reason however to somehow excuse these
> types of sites from providing the appropriate ability to ensure that
> alternative text is present, nor a justification to absolve these sites from
> this responsibility so that they too can claim "conformance" even when they
> are not.  They are not. 

So if a site like Flickr was officially "non-conformant", but 
nonetheless "valid", what effect would that have? Sorry, I mean it as a 
serious question, not trying to be difficult. Just thinking how even 
today, in 2008, many large sites still don't even validate to HTML4.01, 
and site owners dont' seem to see the value associated with validation 
(let alone conformance).

Patrick H. Lauke
re·dux (adj.): brought back; returned. used postpositively
[latin : re-, re- + dux, leader; see duke.]
www.splintered.co.uk | www.photographia.co.uk
Co-lead, Web Standards Project (WaSP) Accessibility Task Force
Received on Tuesday, 19 August 2008 07:11:03 UTC

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