WebAIM - Web Accessibility In Mind

E-mail List Archives

Re: Standards


From: Simius Puer
Date: Sep 17, 2009 7:40AM

Hi Tim

A (slightly over-simplified) example is a standard that states "an image
must have alt text". Compliance to such a standard just means that there is
alt text there...not that it is necessarily right. e.g. a picture of a dog
with the alt text of "cat" - the alt text is present but is ultimately

This is similar to validation of HTML/XHTML code. A web page could have
100% valid code but would not necessarily be 'right'. For example, someone
using the <table> tag to lay the page out can produce valid code, but this
was never what the tag was intended for.

Standards and guidelines are great at capturing 90% of the common elements
that go towards making a website accessible, but they can not account for
every eventuality and so a good helping of common sense and testing need to
be applied.

There is, if you like, a marked difference between ticking off the boxes on
an accessibility checklist, and actually complying to the 'spirit' of