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RE: What assistive technology does (and doesn't do)


From: Rachel Tanenhaus
Date: Dec 16, 2003 2:00PM


Thanks so much for the prompt response! I too am all in favor of
including text links and alt text with the hot spots. And I'm certainly
willing to agree that there's plenty of evidence that pretty much all AT
recognizes links on web pages. I think the question the designers had
was more along the lines of, "Well, if there's ONE behavior that we can
attribute to all AT, are there others? Is there a list of such
behaviors? And if so, at what point would a behavior make a list - if
80% of the available technologies perform the behavior, if one
technology with 90% of the market performs the behavior, etc.?"

I do very much appreciate your response, and I'm going to save it and
refer to it when I provide trainings and technical assistance. Thank


Rachel H. Tanenhaus, MPH
Information Specialist
New England ADA & Accessible IT Center
374 Congress Street, Suite 301
Boston, MA 02210
Phone: (617) 695-0085 (v/tty)
or (800) 949-4232 (v/tty) (in New England)
Fax: (617) 482-8099
URL: www.NewEnglandADA.org

-----Original Message-----
[mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ]
Sent: Tuesday, December 16, 2003 3:40 PM
Subject: RE: What assistive technology does (and doesn't do)

Hi Rachel:

There are two parts to your question.

(1) Links in image maps. There seems to be a bit of a conflict in
information between WCAG check points 1.1 and 1.5. Check point 1.1
1) states that images and regions in image maps are to be given alt text
which seems to suggest that hotspot regions are "visible" to ATs.
1.5 (Priority 3) states that equivalent text links should be provided
all hotspot regions in image maps which seems to suggest that at least
ATs may not "see" hotspot regions. I suggest that text links be provided
just in case.

(2) Links are an integral part of the WWW and for that reason (I don't
any actual experience with ATs), I believe that ATs would announce in
means or another to the user that a link has been encountered. Other
circumstantial evidence is based on the current practice of creating
text. In the past, many of us wrote "Click here to go my resume" with
here" as the link text. The phrase "click here" is mouse centric and
accessibility professionals recommend dropping any reference to the
because not everyone uses a mouse. Furthermore, "click here" does not
identify the content of the destination page. With those
links are now being rewritten as "For more information, read my resume"
where "my resume" is link text. Given that, if links were not announced
an AT user, they would read right past "my resume" without any
that they just went past a link. Therefore, it is my belief that links
identified to an AT user. Furethermore, since AT users are provided with
that information when they encounter a link, I don't feel it is
necessary to
use the text "link" in Alt or Title text, they know it is a link. If a
sighted user can understand from the blue underlined text that "my
is a link to my resume, then don't suggest that people with little to no
sight are any less intelligent - alt text on a link graphic should
the same text information as in the graphic.


Julian Rickards
Digital Publications Distribution Coordinator
Publications Services Section
Ontario Ministry of Northern Development and Mines
Phone: (705) 670-5608
Fax: (705) 670-5690

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Rachel Tanenhaus [mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ]
> Sent: Tuesday, December 16, 2003 2:55 PM
> Subject: What assistive technology does (and doesn't do)

> "So all assistive technology [used for browsing the web] can identify
> when something is a link?" they asked.

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