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question about Div tags and content images


From: sean keegan
Date: Jan 27, 2005 1:53PM

I am starting to come across websites using DIV tags to load images that
contain content. When using JAWS or Window-Eyes, both apps seem to ignore
the presence of this information (not even a notification that the content
is even present on the screen).

I read up on the W3C specifications regarding the DIV and SPAN tags, and
this seems to be an inappropriate use of the tag to display images
containing content requiring the alt-attribute. It appears the DIV tag is
loading a background image from an external style sheet.

Two questions:

1. Is there a way to place an alternative text attribute to communicate
information to screen-readers?

2. Is this just an improper use of the DIV tag and should developers be
made aware that this image and content should be placed using the IMG tag?

Thanks for any thoughts. I am looking for some outside reinforcement (after
dealing with some developers) as to whether I am going in the right
direction or just totally loony.

Take care,

Sean Keegan
Web Accessibility Instructor
High Tech Center Training Unit for the
California Community Colleges
Cupertino, CA