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Re: Image sprites and Accessibility checking


From: Gunlaug Sørtun
Date: Feb 26, 2009 5:10AM

ben morrison wrote:

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

I can only see 3 uses of sprites as actual content.

1: Sprite methods can be applied to foreground images with good results
in rare cases - inside size-controlled links etc., and then the
alt-attribute can be used on the img element.

2: Then we have the use of sprite-background on transparent images, in
which case the img element has an alt-attribute.

3: In most cases some form of image replacement method is used with
sprite-maneuvering in the background, and then the replaced text is
supposed to serve as "alternative" to the sprite that's replacing it.

These methods can of course be combined to create all kinds of strange
pictures that changes depending on user-action, but there's either an
available alt-attribute or a replaced text in there somewhere. If not,
then the whole construction is decorative and (should be) inaccessible.