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RE: evaluating Web accessibility software


From: Jon Gunderson
Date: Jul 28, 2003 7:01AM

The users ability to style ALT text renderings in Netscape 6.x+ and
Internet Explorer is minimal, making ALT text unusable to many people with
visual impairments, requiring users to use adaptive technology (if
available and they know how to use it). If people are interested in
universal design, then it is easy to avoid the use of AREA (or any images
as links) or to provide redundant text links for the AREA links.

The problem with tool tips from an accessibility perspective is:
1. You need to use the mouse to point, not everyone can use a mouse
2. You need to know where to point, requiring the user to explore images to
see if there is a link. If I am visually impaired I may not have enough
vision to know to explore
3. Most people do not know how to style tool tips
4. Not all browsers support tool tips, therefore some people will not have

While you may argue that ALT for AREA is technically accessible in many
cases, I don't believe the use of AREA with only ALT text defined is
functionally accessible to many people with disabilities.


At 01:29 PM 7/25/2003 -0500, Jim Thatcher wrote:
>Hi Jon,
>I was surprised to read that you view Alt on an AREA as an "inaccessible
>technique" - and this apparently because it is not rendered with images off
>in Opera. It is rendered with the mouse over in IE and Netscape 4 (but not
>Netscape 7 or OPERA, apparently) and it is rendered with HPR and the major
>screen readers. Seems to me that that bodes well for the accessibility of
>the technique. There are other html coding techniques that are not realized
>in the visual browser that I think are fundamental to accessibility, like
>the LABEL element, the scope attribute and the header/id combinations, to
>mention a few.
>508 Web Accessibility Tutorial http://jimthatcher.com/webcourse1.htm.
>"Constructing Accessible Web Sites:" http://jimthatcher.com/news.htm
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Jon Gunderson [mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ]
>Sent: Friday, July 25, 2003 8:49 AM
>Subject: RE: evaluating Web accessibility software
>Some browsers provide access to TITLE/ALT attribute information through
>tooltip features (mouse hovering over element brings up a popup window of
>the TITLE content), but this is problematic since many useres do not know
>how or in some cases cannot style tooltip information and also the user
>needs to know where to hover the mouse to get access. Not all users can
>use a mouse. If they are having trouble viewing the image they may not
>think of trying to search for TITLE attribute information. In either case
>it places a huge burden on the user with low vision or a cognitive
>disability to access and style the information.
>At 10:36 AM 7/25/2003 -0400, you wrote:
> >Jon wrote:
> >
> > > 8. ... Note: ALT for AREA element is not rendered by any
> > > major browser,
> > > so should be considered and inaccessible technique, unless there are
> > > redundant text links in the document.
> >
> >What about the TITLE attribute in the AREA element? Might that not be used
> >as a replacement for ALT?
> >
> >Jules
> >
> >
> >----
> >To subscribe, unsubscribe, or view list archives,
> >visit http://www.webaim.org/discussion/
>Jon Gunderson, Ph.D., ATP
>Coordinator of Assistive Communication and Information Technology
>Division of Rehabilitation - Education Services
>College of Applied Life Studies
>University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign
>1207 S. Oak Street, Champaign, IL 61820
>Voice: (217) 244-5870
>Fax: (217) 333-0248
>WWW: http://cita.rehab.uiuc.edu/
>WWW: http://www.staff.uiuc.edu/~jongund
>To subscribe, unsubscribe, or view list archives,
>visit http://www.webaim.org/discussion/
>To subscribe, unsubscribe, or view list archives,
>visit http://www.webaim.org/discussion/

Jon Gunderson, Ph.D., ATP
Coordinator of Assistive Communication and Information Technology
Division of Rehabilitation - Education Services
College of Applied Life Studies
University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign
1207 S. Oak Street, Champaign, IL 61820

Voice: (217) 244-5870
Fax: (217) 333-0248


WWW: http://cita.rehab.uiuc.edu/
WWW: http://www.staff.uiuc.edu/~jongund

To subscribe, unsubscribe, or view list archives,
visit http://www.webaim.org/discussion/