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Re: Define or Caption the Photos

for

From: Jared Smith
Date: Nov 24, 2008 3:35PM


On Mon, Nov 24, 2008 at 2:44 PM, < <EMAIL REMOVED> > wrote:
> I use the definition list to caption still photos. For example:
>
> <dl>
> <dt>(Image)</dt>
> <dd> (Photo description)</dd>
> </dl>
>
> Would this be a acceptable way to caption the still photo for the screen readers?

Acceptable? Sure. Optimal? Maybe not. The problem with using a list is
that the screen reader often identifies the beginning of the list and
in this case it's a list with one item. It's just a lot of overhead
for users for something that is questionably not a term/description
anyway.

Additionally, if the photo description is the alternative for the
image, then the image should be given null alternative text (alt="") -
otherwise the alternative will be presented twice. I'm not exactly
sure how a screen reader will react to an definition term (<dt>) that
is functionally empty, but it probably is not good. In other words, if
the image has null alternative text, you essentially have a definition
for nothing.

Unfortunately HTML does not provide a very good mechanism for making
this association, but I think the definition list approach is probably
a bit overkill for something as simple as a photo caption. I've never
had a screen reader user complain about having the caption immediately
after the image even though there is no direct or semantic association
between the caption and the photo. Vicinity itself is probably
adequate.

Jared Smith
WebAIM