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Re: Alternate text for images having caption adjacent


From: Jared Smith
Date: May 29, 2014 3:22PM

On Thu, May 29, 2014 at 11:57 AM, Rakesh P wrote:

> Consider If alt="" is used instead of "Image of or photo of Jared" in
> alternate text, screen reader will not announce that an image of Jared
> is available in the web page.

Correct, this is the intention of alt="". The fact that it's a photo
of me as opposed to text of "Jared Smith" is not really important.

> If I want to ask my sited friend to
> explain how Jared looks. Tall, fair, with blue eyes etc. alt="" will
> not allow me to do so.

You forgot dashingly handsome. And rather muscular. And charmingly
witty. ;-) And.... well, this is precisely the problem when one starts
to believe that the alt attribute should convey a description of what
the image looks like - there is absolutely no end to what could be
described. There's no way to quantify whether the text description is
equivalent to the visual presentation. It creates a mentality that
better equivalence must mean more verbose descriptions, when the
result is generally just a waste of screen reader user time. It's
important to remember that screen reader don't have a choice to listen
to the description or not - if you put it in the alt attribute, the
screen reader WILL read it when they encounter the image.

The alt attribute if NOT for describing what an image looks like!
Instead, it's for conveying a text alternative to the *content*
provided by that image. What I look like is, in most cases, not useful
or important content. If I chose not to use the image, I certainly
wouldn't be conveying in text what I look like, right? Then why force
such unnecessary information just onto screen reader users? If it's
not alternative text, it shouldn't be placed in the alt attribute.