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Alt guidance

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Draft page

Purpose: A stable web page to provide pointers to alt guidance that will be linked from the HTML5 spec.

Draft page: Resources for|on Alternative Text for Images

EOWG comments on overall page, detailed wording, etc.:

  • Great resource - Can't fault the wording and I prefer the title "Resources on ..." over "Resources for ..." Would suggest an introductory sentence, just to explain the collection, or the purpose for its existence. Along the lines of "This document lists all current WAI resources for people seeking guidance on alternative text for images."{Bim, 04-April-2014}
  • +1 to Bim's comment. {Sylvie, 04-April-2014}
  • +1 to Bim's suggested intro sentence, but might remove "all" so the into will be "This document lists current WAI resources for anyone seeking guidance on alternative text for images."{Sharron, 04-April-2014}
  • +1 to Sharron’s comment. {Eric, 2014-Apr-04}
  • Is "HTML5: Techniques for providing useful text alternatives" not appropriate as it's still draft? {Andrew, 04-April-2014}
  • Suggest "Understanding Success Criteria 1.1.1 (Non-text Content)" becomes "WCAG 2.0: Understanding Success Criteria 1.1.1 (Non-text Content)" for context (or some mention of WCAG 2.0 in the title) {Andrew, 04-April-2014}
  • Comment {Name, 00-Month-2014}
  • summary/location - comment {name, 00-April-2014}
  • EOWG 4 April minutes

Archived ideas

All below is straw proposal for discussion.

HTML5 spec wording

The first paragraph is verbatim from the HTML5 spec. It is provided here for context. The NOTE that follows would replace the existing NOTE.

Text alternatives, [WCAG] are a primary way of making visual information accessible, because they can be rendered through any sensory modality (for example, visual, auditory or tactile) to match the needs of the user. Providing text alternatives allows the information to be rendered in a variety of ways by a variety of user agents. For example, a person who cannot see a picture can have the text alternative read aloud using synthesized speech.

NOTE: The alt attribute on images is a very important accessibility attribute. Authoring useful alt attribute content requires the author to carefully consider the context in which the image appears and the function that image may have in that context. The guidance included here attempts to address the most common ways authors use images. Additional guidance and techniques are available in <a href="@@">W3C WAI resources</a>.

  • minor: "Additional guidance and techniques are available in <a href="@@">W3C WAI resources</a>."
    -> "Additional guidance and techniques are available from <a href="@@">W3C WAI resources</a>."
    OR -> "Additional guidance and techniques are listed in <a href="@@">W3C WAI resources</a>."
    OR -> "Additional guidance and techniques are described in <a href="@@">W3C WAI resources</a>."


  • probably
    • maybe (for
      • JB thinks this is good and cannot think of any counter-arguments to this -- interested if anyone else can?
    • not because WCAG30 or WCAG 21 or whatever might happen
    • ...

visual design

  • may be best not to have full WAI wrapper, and instead look more /TR/ like -- although shouldn't be too /TR/ like since it's not
  • could have light WAI masthead like symposium design or even lighter like tutorials

MS: Could use the W3C base.css stylesheet (looks like TR but may be too close to TR). IF not, highly favor the new tutorials template.

initial content

For guidance on providing alternative text for images, see the W3C WAI Images Tutorial. The first page provides an overview of concepts, and the Simple decision tree helps you figure out what type of alternative text to provide. The tutorial lists all relevant WCAG 2.0 Success Criteria and techniques, and includes longdesc and WAI-ARIA information.

  • JB: I get lost in words as soon as I land here -- what about moving the links forward, and then explaining what they are after? Or alternatively, what about a quick bullet, then link, then detail, for instance: Intro to Alt: WAI Images Tutorial (blah blah...); Technical details on Alt attribute: <link> (elaboration) etc....

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 is introduced in the WCAG Overview. The relevant WCAG 2.0 Success Criterion is 1.1.1 Non-text Content. For more information on the WCAG 2.0 requirements for alternative text, see Understanding SC 1.1.1.

  • JB: Same question, can we flip this so there is less up-front narrative?

This URI is stable. Content changes will be approved by WCAG WG, HTML5 Accessibility Task Force, and EOWG.

  • JB: Great, clear, clean. Thx.

Title thoughts

  • Guidance on Alternative Text for Images
  • Resources for Alternative Text for Images ? {Eric, 2014-04-02}
    • Reason: Makes clear that the landing page has no Guidance on Alternative text itself but links to resources.
  • Where to find guidance on Alternative Text for Images
    • JB: Actually I may like Eric's suggestion better, but this one would be even more explicit that it's a "locator" step-through.
  • Alternative Text Guidance {too broad}

process for changes

  • edits will be approved by the WCAG WG (& HTML5 a11y Task Force) and the EOWG

Archived discussion on not having a separate page

Do we really need this page if we foresee that the only two things we'll point to are the Images Tutorial and Understanding WCAG Success Criteria 1.1.1 (not Techniques)? If so, shouldn't we just have those two links in HTML5?

(EOWG 28 March 2014 minutes)

I tend to agree. However, that solution would be less mutable should we add an additional resource in the future, or should new documents supersede those. I wonder if we can point to forwarding URLs that we can change the destination of should we recommend new documents in the future?
Having a landing page for only two resources does seem a little odd.

See also J.S.'s comments and Shawn's reply.

Straw wording for HTML5 doc

MS: My only concern with this wording is that is sounds as though the guidance in the HTML5 spec is not sufficient and the techniques are not sufficient for meeting WCAG. I don't have suggested text because I am starting to lean towards pointing to a single resource.

  • Assuming it will be in this section of the spec: {Eric, Apr. 02}
    • For guidance on providing alt text for images, see the W3C WAI Image Tutorial. Background information, as well as alternative techniques for providing alternative text, for meeting Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0, see Understanding SC 1.1.1 (Non-text Content).
      • Reasons: The section refers to alt, so switching to alternative text makes little sense. I’ve also included the “W3C WAI“ to the link to make clear that this isn’t just another tutorial but something that comes from W3C.
  • Agree to add W3C WAI - good catch! Because the Tutorials covers more than alt — including longdesc and ARIA, I prefer the broader wording. I'm not keen on "alternative techniques for providing alternative text". Also, I think we need to differentiate more between the two pointers. And all of the relevant WCAG Techniques are included in the Tutorial, and I think the WCAG SC includes more techniques that are *not* relative to alt for images (for multimedia, e.g.). How about:
    For guidance on providing alternative text for images, see the W3C WAI Images Tutorial. Information and techniques for meeting Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 requirements for alternative text are in Understanding SC 1.1.1 (Non-text Content).
    • Sounds good to me. {Eric, 2014-04-02}