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Thread: Race, Gender, and Other Categories in Alt Text for Headshots

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Number of posts in this thread: 13 (In chronological order)

From: Robert Fentress
Date: Fri, Feb 12 2016 8:43AM
Subject: Race, Gender, and Other Categories in Alt Text for Headshots
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So, I've got a bio page for the people working in a department, and it
includes a head shot photo of the employee. How do I handle alt text
in this instance?

My first instinct is to null it out, since the person's name is right
beside the image, it is almost fluff, and I don't know that someone
using a screen reader would want the extra noise of saying something
like "Head Shot of John Smith". Then, I think more about it and
wonder if I'm assuming too much.

First, I shouldn't assume only blind people would be using the alt
text. For instance, someone who is not blind may be using Lynx or
something. The information could possibly also be useful as metadata.

Second, perhaps a blind person would want to know what this person
looked like. Why would people come to a page like this? Well, one
scenario is they are going to meet with someone and want to know what
they look like so they can identify them in a group. There are
others, but that is one. So the person may come to a public place
armed with this info and ask a bystander if they recognize someone in
the crowd who looks like "thus and so."

So, how do you describe someone in that instance? Well, here comes
the tricky bit. What shortcuts or categories do we use to describe
people? Often, we might mention someone's *perceived* gender, and,
perhaps, if we are less sensitive, their age, race, or ethnicity. I
assume the last three, at least, are off limits. Indeed, legally, I
think, in my context, even describing someone using any of these
categories might be forbidden in official communications.

So what *do* you say? What are relevant and useful descriptors that
would be permitted?

Or am I overthinking things?

Best,
Rob

--
Robert Fentress
Senior Accessibility Solutions Designer
540.231.1255

Technology-enhanced Learning & Online Strategies
Assistive Technologies
1180 Torgersen Hall
620 Drillfield Drive (0434)
Blacksburg, Virginia 24061

From: Paul J. Adam
Date: Fri, Feb 12 2016 8:56AM
Subject: Re: Race, Gender, and Other Categories in Alt Text for Headshots
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I do think screen readers should have access to the <img> elements used as people’s headshot image. If you set alt="" then you can’t navigate to the image with a screen reader and won’t know it’s present.

alt="Head Shot of John Smith” sounds good to me! I use alt=“Paul's Headshot” on my website :)

alt=“Photo of John Smith” sounds good also. My thoughts are that if a blind user would like a more detailed description of the person’s appearance then they’d have to ask a friend “What does John Smith look like based on this image I pulled off the accessible employee directory page?” :)

Paul J. Adam
Accessibility Evangelist
www.deque.com

> On Feb 12, 2016, at 9:43 AM, Robert Fentress < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > wrote:
>
> So, I've got a bio page for the people working in a department, and it
> includes a head shot photo of the employee. How do I handle alt text
> in this instance?
>
> My first instinct is to null it out, since the person's name is right
> beside the image, it is almost fluff, and I don't know that someone
> using a screen reader would want the extra noise of saying something
> like "Head Shot of John Smith". Then, I think more about it and
> wonder if I'm assuming too much.
>
> First, I shouldn't assume only blind people would be using the alt
> text. For instance, someone who is not blind may be using Lynx or
> something. The information could possibly also be useful as metadata.
>
> Second, perhaps a blind person would want to know what this person
> looked like. Why would people come to a page like this? Well, one
> scenario is they are going to meet with someone and want to know what
> they look like so they can identify them in a group. There are
> others, but that is one. So the person may come to a public place
> armed with this info and ask a bystander if they recognize someone in
> the crowd who looks like "thus and so."
>
> So, how do you describe someone in that instance? Well, here comes
> the tricky bit. What shortcuts or categories do we use to describe
> people? Often, we might mention someone's *perceived* gender, and,
> perhaps, if we are less sensitive, their age, race, or ethnicity. I
> assume the last three, at least, are off limits. Indeed, legally, I
> think, in my context, even describing someone using any of these
> categories might be forbidden in official communications.
>
> So what *do* you say? What are relevant and useful descriptors that
> would be permitted?
>
> Or am I overthinking things?
>
> Best,
> Rob
>
> --
> Robert Fentress
> Senior Accessibility Solutions Designer
> 540.231.1255
>
> Technology-enhanced Learning & Online Strategies
> Assistive Technologies
> 1180 Torgersen Hall
> 620 Drillfield Drive (0434)
> Blacksburg, Virginia 24061
> > > >

From: Patrick H. Lauke
Date: Fri, Feb 12 2016 8:56AM
Subject: Re: Race, Gender, and Other Categories in Alt Text for Headshots
← Previous message | Next message →

On 12/02/2016 15:43, Robert Fentress wrote:
> So, I've got a bio page for the people working in a department, and it
> includes a head shot photo of the employee. How do I handle alt text
> in this instance?
>
> My first instinct is to null it out, since the person's name is right
> beside the image, it is almost fluff, and I don't know that someone
> using a screen reader would want the extra noise of saying something
> like "Head Shot of John Smith". Then, I think more about it and
> wonder if I'm assuming too much.
>
> First, I shouldn't assume only blind people would be using the alt
> text. For instance, someone who is not blind may be using Lynx or
> something. The information could possibly also be useful as metadata.

I would posit that the number of users in this camp is...fleetingly
small (now bracing myself for the vocal "I'M A LYNX USER" crowd...)

> Second, perhaps a blind person would want to know what this person
> looked like. Why would people come to a page like this? Well, one
> scenario is they are going to meet with someone and want to know what
> they look like so they can identify them in a group. There are
> others, but that is one. So the person may come to a public place
> armed with this info and ask a bystander if they recognize someone in
> the crowd who looks like "thus and so."
>
> So, how do you describe someone in that instance? Well, here comes
> the tricky bit. What shortcuts or categories do we use to describe
> people? Often, we might mention someone's *perceived* gender, and,
> perhaps, if we are less sensitive, their age, race, or ethnicity. I
> assume the last three, at least, are off limits. Indeed, legally, I
> think, in my context, even describing someone using any of these
> categories might be forbidden in official communications.

Sounds like a "longdesc" of the photo to me. Also, as you quite rightly
mention, this opens up a whole host of sensitivity issues that I'd say
would be absolutely best avoided. Just don't go there ("dark skinned,
middle eastern looking man with a beard and turban...")

> So what *do* you say? What are relevant and useful descriptors that
> would be permitted?

I'd hazard a guess and say: nowadays, none (for various levels of
sensitivity, discrimination, etc).

> Or am I overthinking things?

Possibly, yes. Unless the way a person looks is the essential content of
the image (for instance, I don't know, a site that does in fact compare
the skin color of a group of people, where their skin color is actually
what that image is primarily conveying), I'd steer well clear of it.

P
--
Patrick H. Lauke

www.splintered.co.uk | https://github.com/patrickhlauke
http://flickr.com/photos/redux/ | http://redux.deviantart.com
twitter: @patrick_h_lauke | skype: patrick_h_lauke

From: Alastair Campbell
Date: Fri, Feb 12 2016 10:08AM
Subject: Re: Race, Gender, and Other Categories in Alt Text for Headshots
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I think Patrick nailed it, and you almost answered your own question:

My first instinct is to null it out
>

(snip)

>
> Or am I overthinking things?
>
>
Probably, go with your gut in this case...

-Alastair

From: _mallory
Date: Fri, Feb 12 2016 12:50PM
Subject: Re: Race, Gender, and Other Categories in Alt Text for Headshots
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I'm a lynx user!!! :P (when using my mail client). I wouldn't want
a desc of headshots though.

It's good though for people to know there *is* a headshot. It's not
considered decoration of the site, so it's content, albeit not
horribly imporant content.

_mallory

On Fri, Feb 12, 2016 at 03:56:27PM +0000, Patrick H. Lauke wrote:
> On 12/02/2016 15:43, Robert Fentress wrote:
> >So, I've got a bio page for the people working in a department, and it
> >includes a head shot photo of the employee. How do I handle alt text
> >in this instance?
> >
> >My first instinct is to null it out, since the person's name is right
> >beside the image, it is almost fluff, and I don't know that someone
> >using a screen reader would want the extra noise of saying something
> >like "Head Shot of John Smith". Then, I think more about it and
> >wonder if I'm assuming too much.
> >
> >First, I shouldn't assume only blind people would be using the alt
> >text. For instance, someone who is not blind may be using Lynx or
> >something. The information could possibly also be useful as metadata.
>
> I would posit that the number of users in this camp is...fleetingly
> small (now bracing myself for the vocal "I'M A LYNX USER" crowd...)
>
> >Second, perhaps a blind person would want to know what this person
> >looked like. Why would people come to a page like this? Well, one
> >scenario is they are going to meet with someone and want to know what
> >they look like so they can identify them in a group. There are
> >others, but that is one. So the person may come to a public place
> >armed with this info and ask a bystander if they recognize someone in
> >the crowd who looks like "thus and so."
> >
> >So, how do you describe someone in that instance? Well, here comes
> >the tricky bit. What shortcuts or categories do we use to describe
> >people? Often, we might mention someone's *perceived* gender, and,
> >perhaps, if we are less sensitive, their age, race, or ethnicity. I
> >assume the last three, at least, are off limits. Indeed, legally, I
> >think, in my context, even describing someone using any of these
> >categories might be forbidden in official communications.
>
> Sounds like a "longdesc" of the photo to me. Also, as you quite
> rightly mention, this opens up a whole host of sensitivity issues
> that I'd say would be absolutely best avoided. Just don't go there
> ("dark skinned, middle eastern looking man with a beard and
> turban...")
>
> >So what *do* you say? What are relevant and useful descriptors that
> >would be permitted?
>
> I'd hazard a guess and say: nowadays, none (for various levels of
> sensitivity, discrimination, etc).
>
> >Or am I overthinking things?
>
> Possibly, yes. Unless the way a person looks is the essential
> content of the image (for instance, I don't know, a site that does
> in fact compare the skin color of a group of people, where their
> skin color is actually what that image is primarily conveying), I'd
> steer well clear of it.
>
> P
> --
> Patrick H. Lauke
>
> www.splintered.co.uk | https://github.com/patrickhlauke
> http://flickr.com/photos/redux/ | http://redux.deviantart.com
> twitter: @patrick_h_lauke | skype: patrick_h_lauke
> > > >

From: Guy Hickling
Date: Sat, Feb 13 2016 9:33AM
Subject: Re: Race, Gender, and Other Categories in Alt Text for Headshots
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I think I have to disagree with all the comments made so far! I do
humbly apologise, and hope none of you mind too much! But it seems to
me we are missing the most important point - that the blind screen
reader user is surely entitled to all the information that is being
conveyed by the photograph to sighted people - possibly limited just a
little by considerations of legal considerations and fairness to the
subjects of the head shots, but not much. To refuse to supply supply
the available information to the blind person is discrimination
against them.

So, sex first (most important!) Say in the alt text whether the photo
subject is a man or a woman - it isn't always obvious from the name,
but it is a most important piece of information if the blind user is
planning to meet or even just contect them. A blind woman might not
want to apply for a job where all her collegues would be men.

Perhaps adding Mr, Mrs, Ms etc before the name will do it, though for
doctors and proffs you would also have to add a bit more. Even if the
first name gives it away to many users, remember some users from other
cutural backgrounds or races (there, I've said it!) may not be so
familiar with the name.

Next, how are they dressed? What a person wears is very relevant to a)
what kind of person they are, and b) how they want to be seen by
others. In a business - a page of directors' or employess' mugshots
for instance, how the whole group is dressed (or permitted to dress by
company rules) says a lot about the people and also the company ethos
and its employee relations (a blind person might want to see that
before going to a meeting there).

Is the photo subject casually dressed or in a suit and tie (if male)?
Is a lady in a smart suit for business or a casual multi-coloured
jumper? Presumably the person dressed the way they wanted to be seen
as on the day they were due to pose for the mugshot.

Again, is the photo intended to say anything else about what the
person is like? Or is it just a simple pose? We probably don't care if
a person is standing or sitting if they are just posing for a straight
portrait. But if they are obviously posing in a special way to convey
something then that should be inlcuded in the alt text. We hardly ever
see a photo of Richard Branson. We only see photos of Branson doing
something, because thats they way he is and how he likes to be seen.
And he is always laughing, or at least smiling. I don't know if all
Branson alt texts say "a cheerful Richard Branson" or "a laughing
Richard Branson", but if they don't they should, and blind people
would then gradually build up a picture over time of the kind of
cheerful person he is, the same view that most sighted people have
formed of him.

As for the setting a person is photographed in, is that important? If
it isn't, if it just happens to be where the photo was taken, then
don't weigh down the alt text with it. But if it is important (often a
difficult conclusion to make, of course) then include it.

Age: hmmmm, now it gets difficult. The web developer could offend a
lot of people including his bosses here! Perhaps the simplest thing to
do, if a company website is showing photos of employees, perhaps the
company should ask them if they are willing for their (very
approximate) ages to be mentioned, and how? It is difficult, but then
why should a blind person go to a meeting or a job interview without
knowing whether the person is much younger than them or older than
them, when sighted people go to the same interview with that
information obtained from the company website?

Of course, noone will see the information in alt text except blind
people - though search engines might possibly pick it up - do they
show text from alt text? I can't remember ever having seen that. Maybe
the photo subject should have the right for their age not to be
mentioned in any way to avoid them being discriminated against, but
check what they put on their Facebook first - perhaps its all out
there!.

Finally, race and colour. Yes, this is difficult I agree, because of
the hatreds some people can form as a result. Sighted people are
expected not to show bias when they see a person's colour (we can't
help what they feel inside). Maybe not mentioning it in alt text
forces a blind person not to have bias, I don't know. Again perhaps
the simplest thing to do, if a company website is showing websites of
employees, why not ask them if they are willing for their colour to be
mentioned? Some will be proud of it, some will not want it mentioned,
for all sorts of reasons (including fear of discrimination). But to
mention it might show the company's diversity (or lack of it).

I hope this kicks off more discussion about the subject (even if some
disagree with me). And what would blind people like to see on this?
Alt texts for mugshots is a difficult one.

Perhaps what we need is an agreed standard on what information to
include for mugshots and full length portraits, and what more personal
and possibly contentious information to omit? Anyone in W3C reading
this?

Regards,
Guy Hickling
01635 860 728
http://www.enigmaticweb.com

From: -Carol E -Wheeler
Date: Sat, Feb 13 2016 10:00AM
Subject: Re: Race, Gender, and Other Categories in Alt Text for Headshots
← Previous message | Next message →

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html><head>
<meta charset=3D"UTF-8">
</head><body><p><br></p><blockquote type=3D"cite"><p>On February 13, 2016 a=
t 11:33 AM Guy Hickling &#60; = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = &#62; wrote:<br>So, sex =
first (most important!) Say in the alt text whether the photo<br>subject is=
a man or a woman - it isn&#39;t always obvious from the name,<br>but it is=
a most important piece of information if the blind user is<br>planning to =
meet or even just contect them. A blind woman might not<br>want to apply fo=
r a job where all her collegues would be men.</p></blockquote><p>You could =
be making some unfounded assumptions about a persons gender if you are only=
considering two options. Some names are intended to be non-binary. Some pe=
ople dress to avoid binary assumptions about their gender.<br></p><p><br></=
p><div class=3D"io-ox-signature"><p>Carol E. Wheeler,<br>Web Goddess and Mu=
sician<br>=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=
=3D=3D<br><strong>Stephen Colbert:</strong> &#34;What do you think happens =
after you die?&#34;<br><strong>Jennifer Lawrence:</strong> &#34;I think the=
y give your hospital bed to someone else.&#34; <br></p></div></body></html>

From: Robert Fentress
Date: Sat, Feb 13 2016 1:02PM
Subject: Re: Race, Gender, and Other Categories in Alt Text for Headshots
← Previous message | Next message →

Thanks for the feedback, everyone.

I like the idea of asking the concerned people to provide a one
sentence description along with their picture (and perhaps a longer
description?). Basically, "How would you want your physical
appearance described, knowing the context?" It still might not be
equivalent access for blind people, if the person writing the
description neglects details that would be useful and apparent to
sighted users, but it sounds like the best compromise. . . if people
are willing to do it.

Regardless, I think it really raises some interesting questions about
identity, perceived and projected, the right to equivalent
information, and what filters are useful to us in navigating the
world.

-Rob

On Sat, Feb 13, 2016 at 12:00 PM, -Carol E -Wheeler
< = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > wrote:
>
> On February 13, 2016 at 11:33 AM Guy Hickling < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
> wrote:
> So, sex first (most important!) Say in the alt text whether the photo
> subject is a man or a woman - it isn't always obvious from the name,
> but it is a most important piece of information if the blind user is
> planning to meet or even just contect them. A blind woman might not
> want to apply for a job where all her collegues would be men.
>
> You could be making some unfounded assumptions about a persons gender if you
> are only considering two options. Some names are intended to be non-binary.
> Some people dress to avoid binary assumptions about their gender.
>
>
> Carol E. Wheeler,
> Web Goddess and Musician
> ======================> Stephen Colbert: "What do you think happens after you die?"
> Jennifer Lawrence: "I think they give your hospital bed to someone else."
>
>
> > > > >



--
Robert Fentress
Senior Accessibility Solutions Designer
540.231.1255

Technology-enhanced Learning & Online Strategies
Assistive Technologies
1180 Torgersen Hall
620 Drillfield Drive (0434)
Blacksburg, Virginia 24061

From: Maxability Accessibility for all
Date: Sun, Feb 14 2016 7:23PM
Subject: Re: Race, Gender, and Other Categories in Alt Text for Headshots
← Previous message | Next message →

Hey Rob,

A similar discussion I have put before the experts couple of years back and
below is the link to the thread.
http://webaim.org/discussion/mail_thread?threadd41

Thanks & Regards
Rakesh
www.maxability.co.in

On Sun, Feb 14, 2016 at 1:32 AM, Robert Fentress < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > wrote:

> Thanks for the feedback, everyone.
>
> I like the idea of asking the concerned people to provide a one
> sentence description along with their picture (and perhaps a longer
> description?). Basically, "How would you want your physical
> appearance described, knowing the context?" It still might not be
> equivalent access for blind people, if the person writing the
> description neglects details that would be useful and apparent to
> sighted users, but it sounds like the best compromise. . . if people
> are willing to do it.
>
> Regardless, I think it really raises some interesting questions about
> identity, perceived and projected, the right to equivalent
> information, and what filters are useful to us in navigating the
> world.
>
> -Rob
>
> On Sat, Feb 13, 2016 at 12:00 PM, -Carol E -Wheeler
> < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > wrote:
> >
> > On February 13, 2016 at 11:33 AM Guy Hickling < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
> > wrote:
> > So, sex first (most important!) Say in the alt text whether the photo
> > subject is a man or a woman - it isn't always obvious from the name,
> > but it is a most important piece of information if the blind user is
> > planning to meet or even just contect them. A blind woman might not
> > want to apply for a job where all her collegues would be men.
> >
> > You could be making some unfounded assumptions about a persons gender if
> you
> > are only considering two options. Some names are intended to be
> non-binary.
> > Some people dress to avoid binary assumptions about their gender.
> >
> >
> > Carol E. Wheeler,
> > Web Goddess and Musician
> > ======================> > Stephen Colbert: "What do you think happens after you die?"
> > Jennifer Lawrence: "I think they give your hospital bed to someone else."
> >
> >
> > > > > > > > > >
>
>
>
> --
> Robert Fentress
> Senior Accessibility Solutions Designer
> 540.231.1255
>
> Technology-enhanced Learning & Online Strategies
> Assistive Technologies
> 1180 Torgersen Hall
> 620 Drillfield Drive (0434)
> Blacksburg, Virginia 24061
> > > > >

From: Kevin Prince
Date: Thu, Feb 18 2016 7:33PM
Subject: Re: Race, Gender, and Other Categories in Alt Text for Headshots
← Previous message | Next message →

I used to be in the null camp but moved when it was explained, by a blind friend, that knowledge there is a photo is useful for exactly the reason noted - they are trying to find a person at a meeting, at the airport etc.

There is also the case where the ethnicity/age/appearance is part of the message. I was working on a women’s health website and all the case studies had been carefully chosen to show Maori or Pacifica women as they were over represented in the statistics for the wrong reason. The message was, not only what was written, but that also it mattered to Maori and Pacifica women too. If you ddn’t put that in the alt text aren’t you doing a disservice?

kev
Access1in5
0212220638
039290692
Independent Accessibility and IT Consultancy.



> On 15/02/2016, at 15:23, Maxability Accessibility for all < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > wrote:
>
> Hey Rob,
>
> A similar discussion I have put before the experts couple of years back and
> below is the link to the thread.
> http://webaim.org/discussion/mail_thread?threadd41
>
> Thanks & Regards
> Rakesh
> www.maxability.co.in
>
> On Sun, Feb 14, 2016 at 1:32 AM, Robert Fentress < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > wrote:
>
>> Thanks for the feedback, everyone.
>>
>> I like the idea of asking the concerned people to provide a one
>> sentence description along with their picture (and perhaps a longer
>> description?). Basically, "How would you want your physical
>> appearance described, knowing the context?" It still might not be
>> equivalent access for blind people, if the person writing the
>> description neglects details that would be useful and apparent to
>> sighted users, but it sounds like the best compromise. . . if people
>> are willing to do it.
>>
>> Regardless, I think it really raises some interesting questions about
>> identity, perceived and projected, the right to equivalent
>> information, and what filters are useful to us in navigating the
>> world.
>>
>> -Rob
>>
>> On Sat, Feb 13, 2016 at 12:00 PM, -Carol E -Wheeler
>> < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > wrote:
>>>
>>> On February 13, 2016 at 11:33 AM Guy Hickling < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
>>> wrote:
>>> So, sex first (most important!) Say in the alt text whether the photo
>>> subject is a man or a woman - it isn't always obvious from the name,
>>> but it is a most important piece of information if the blind user is
>>> planning to meet or even just contect them. A blind woman might not
>>> want to apply for a job where all her collegues would be men.
>>>
>>> You could be making some unfounded assumptions about a persons gender if
>> you
>>> are only considering two options. Some names are intended to be
>> non-binary.
>>> Some people dress to avoid binary assumptions about their gender.
>>>
>>>
>>> Carol E. Wheeler,
>>> Web Goddess and Musician
>>> ======================>>> Stephen Colbert: "What do you think happens after you die?"
>>> Jennifer Lawrence: "I think they give your hospital bed to someone else."
>>>
>>>
>>> >>> >>> >>> >>>
>>
>>
>>
>> --
>> Robert Fentress
>> Senior Accessibility Solutions Designer
>> 540.231.1255
>>
>> Technology-enhanced Learning & Online Strategies
>> Assistive Technologies
>> 1180 Torgersen Hall
>> 620 Drillfield Drive (0434)
>> Blacksburg, Virginia 24061
>> >> >> >> >>
> > > >

From: Shawn Henry
Date: Fri, Feb 19 2016 9:11AM
Subject: Re: Race, Gender, and Other Categories in Alt Text for Headshots
← Previous message | Next message →

On 2/13/2016 10:33 AM, Guy Hickling wrote:
> Perhaps what we need is an agreed standard on what information to
> include for mugshots and full length portraits, and what more personal
> and possibly contentious information to omit? Anyone in W3C reading
> this?

Yes, reading it.

~Shawn
<https://www.w3.org/People/Shawn/>

From: Patrick H. Lauke
Date: Fri, Feb 19 2016 9:22AM
Subject: Re: Race, Gender, and Other Categories in Alt Text for Headshots
← Previous message | Next message →

On 13/02/2016 16:33, Guy Hickling wrote:
> Perhaps what we need is an agreed standard on what information to
> include for mugshots and full length portraits, and what more personal
> and possibly contentious information to omit?

I doubt it will be possible to find an agreed hard standard, simply
because what is an isn't appropriate/contentious/necessary will have to
be assessed on pretty much a case-by-case basis. The best that I think
can be hoped for are good examples (which also need to provide very
specific contextual information - about the exact purpose of the
site/its use of the mug shot), but a strong advisory that this will be
often highly subjective.

P
--
Patrick H. Lauke

www.splintered.co.uk | https://github.com/patrickhlauke
http://flickr.com/photos/redux/ | http://redux.deviantart.com
twitter: @patrick_h_lauke | skype: patrick_h_lauke

From: Chaals McCathie Nevile
Date: Mon, Feb 22 2016 7:32AM
Subject: Re: Race, Gender, and Other Categories in Alt Text for Headshots
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On Fri, 19 Feb 2016 17:11:57 +0100, Shawn Henry < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > wrote:

> On 2/13/2016 10:33 AM, Guy Hickling wrote:
>> Perhaps what we need is an agreed standard on what information to
>> include for mugshots and full length portraits, and what more personal
>> and possibly contentious information to omit?

I don't think so. First, what you might think is appropriate and what
someone across the world from you thinks, might be close to
irreconcilable. Even assuming you use the photos for the same purpose.

Which is unlikely. There is a lot of fine judgement about context, and
what is relevant. Stock photography looks different in different places,
just as the people do, so what matters is very unlikely to be the same
even for a supposedly standard photo.

Otherwise we would have just been using computer-generated alt for years…

As others have pointed out, there is a limited amount of information that
people want to *have* to consume every time, but it is useful to have a
mechanism for *choosing* to learn more - the goal of things like HTML's
longdesc or the SVG desc element.

> Anyone in W3C reading this?

Lots of people who read this list are involved in W3C.

cheers

--
Charles McCathie Nevile - web standards - CTO Office, Yandex
= EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = - - - Find more at http://yandex.com