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Re: Alternate text for images having caption adjacent


From: Jared Smith
Date: May 27, 2014 12:41PM

On Tue, May 27, 2014 at 12:12 PM, Jonathan Avila wrote:

> Thus, according to this definition the in page equivalent must be
> associated by a short description in the alt text of the image letting the
> user know where the alternative is located.

To clarify, this only applies if the alternative text is being
conveyed in context with the image, not if it is conveyed in the alt
attribute. If it's in the alt attribute, then it's programmatically
associated to the image.

But, I think this requirement often results in less-than-optimal
accessibility. Consider a photo of me in a web page with text
immediately below it of "Jared Smith". Based on this definition, one
would have to either provide alternative text that is redundant to the
actual text, or do something like this:
<img alt="Image with description below" src="jared.jpg">
Jared Smith

This is certainly not useful or efficient. The content of the image is
that it's me, Jared Smith, so why require verbose or unnecessary text
references to that content from the image itself? Consider the
overhead of dozens of these types of alt attribute references
(alt="Product image. Product title is below."???) for every product
image on a shopping web site.

Additionally, this results in an alt attribute value that is not at
all an alternative to the image itself, but is a description of the
location of the actual alternative text. This is certainly a violation
of at least the spirit of the HTML specification's definition of the
alt attribute.

If WCAG considers a "click here" link to be considered
programmatically associated to the element that contains it, then
certainly text immediately adjacent to an image could be considered
programmatically associated to that image, no?

Of course this issue can at least partially be addressed by
<figure>/<figcaption>, though I'm not aware of any AT that actually
makes this programmatic association.

Jared Smith