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Re: Image sprites and Accessibility checking


From: ben morrison
Date: Feb 26, 2009 3:25AM

On Wed, Feb 25, 2009 at 10:29 PM, Christian Heilmann < <EMAIL REMOVED> >wrote:

> Cullom, Adria Ellen wrote:
> > Hi,
> >
> > I'm wondering if you guys at WebAIM or anyone on the list has had
> experience with image sprites and accessibility testing. In particular,
> since image sprites eliminate the use of the <IMG> tag, how do you check for
> missing alt text? Any insight would be appreciated.
> >
> >
> I really do not understand how this question still survives. CSS sprites
> are for CSS *background images* which are by definition only of
> *aesthetic* value - not visual content of the document itself. If you
> put an image in the page that has *meaning* then use an IMG element and
> give it an alternative text in the *alt* attribute. You can also add a
> title attribute to add extra information that will be displayed to every
> user as a tooltip. If your image has *a lot of content* for example a
> graph then consider using the *longdesc* attribute to link to a textual
> representation of the same data.
> That is it - images in CSS are only visual extras, not page content,
> hence they *never* need alternative text. "Rounded corner" or
> "blue-yellow gradient" does not help anybody as alternative text - on
> the contrary, it annoys!

I do concur, however at, work we do actually use sprites for performance
reasons, so it is a valid question.

Ben Morrison