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Re: alt text subleties


From: Paul Bohman
Date: Jul 17, 2001 10:17AM

> I'm still interested in comments on the question of [].
I don't use brackets with alt tags, and most people in the accessibility field don't either -- not that the popular thing is always the right thing to do, but I think it makes sense to leave them out, at least from the perspective of screen reader rendering. Most screen readers will read the brackets like this:
"Left bracket, products and services, right bracket."
A long list of links can get somewhat tedious when listening to all of those brackets.
If we expand the topic a little beyond alt tags, then there is one place where I have seen brackets used which I don't mind too much: the "D link". (For an explanation of the D link see http://www.webaim.org/howto/graphics2f). For an example of a D link with brackets, see www.corda.com. The reason that I don't mind it here is that a "D" by itself is just a single letter that can look a little lonely, if you know what I mean. Still, I don't really have an strong opinion either way. With or without the brackets, the link still performs its function.
In the end, the brackets on alt tags don't add much of anything to their accessibility, and their presence doesn't really harm anything, except that it takes longer to listen to the links.
Paul Bohman
Technology Coordinator
WebAIM: Web Accessibility in Mind (www.webaim.org)
Center for Persons with Disabilities (www.cpd.usu.edu)
Utah State University (www.usu.edu)