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  1. #1
    SitePoint Addict trigger's Avatar
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    Alt Text for Presenatational Images?

    I have a great site ready to upload, and had a quick question, or maybe just wanted to ruffle a few accessibility feathers. I have inserted a few photographs into the site, which are purely for presentation. The site is geared toward senior citizens, so I made it very simple to navigate and figure out, but I wanted a little somethin'-somethin'.

    Of course the Accessibility tests don't like this, but if I did put some alt text (i.e. another pretty landscape shot that is pleasing to the eyes), would that make the screenreaders even more mad? The text serves no purpose, so if I was blind and using a screenreader, the image would just slow me down.

    Believe me, it loads well (4.44 seconds at 56K, with the images), and passes the CSS/XHTML/Accessibility tests, except for the alt text for images.

    Can anyone think of any reason why a disabled person would want to be informed or view these presentational images? Also, specifiying a div with a background wouldn't really work either, as the image is different in every page.
    Not another drugstore, not another town
    Tired of the overdrop, I had to put it down
    You know I was the man when I put the Crown down
    Then rolled around the Chemicals to pave the New Sound

  2. #2
    ☆★☆★ silver trophy vgarcia's Avatar
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    My rule of thumb is that if an image is presentational and just there for the design aspect of the site, then use it as a background image and not with the <img /> tag. That way you don't have to worry about these kinds of things .

  3. #3
    SitePoint Addict trigger's Avatar
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    Well, I wonder if the increased size of the CSS will offset any advantage gained from passing an Accessibility Test. Approx 18 pages, all with different images = 18 more divs to specify.
    Not another drugstore, not another town
    Tired of the overdrop, I had to put it down
    You know I was the man when I put the Crown down
    Then rolled around the Chemicals to pave the New Sound

  4. #4
    gingham dress, army boots... silver trophy redux's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trigger
    Well, I wonder if the increased size of the CSS will offset any advantage gained from passing an Accessibility Test. Approx 18 pages, all with different images = 18 more divs to specify.
    you don't have to specify a new div to add a decorative image as a background. depending on your markup, you can add it as a background to an existing element of the page, keeping your markup lean and structured, without obfuscating it with any empty elements.

    i'm a bit concerned about "passing an accessibility test"...i would hope that you're doing this to actually make a site more accessible to your users.

    if you absolutely must include an actual IMG in your markup, it's commonly accepted practice to give it a null alt attribute if it's presentational, e.g.
    Code:
    <img src="blah.jpg" alt="" width="100" height="50" />
    re·dux (adj.): brought back; returned. used postpositively
    [latin : re-, re- + dux, leader; see duke.]
    WaSP Accessibility Task Force Member
    splintered.co.uk | photographia.co.uk | redux.deviantart.com

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by redux
    i'm a bit concerned about "passing an accessibility test"...i would hope that you're doing this to actually make a site more accessible to your users.
    100% ACK, Bobby is not the one to worry about, the real person with a disability is.

    Quote Originally Posted by redux
    if you absolutely must include an actual IMG in your markup, it's commonly accepted practice to give it a null alt attribute if it's presentational, e.g.
    Code:
    <img src="blah.jpg" alt="" width="100" height="50" />
    That's not only commonly accepted practice but the way it should be done, as screen readers skip over images with empty alt attributes.
    This is explained in the "spacers" chapter of the brilliant images in chapter in Joe Clarke's "Building accessible web sites":
    http://www.joeclark.org/book/sashay/...Chapter06.html

    HTH
    Chris
    http://icant.co.uk

  6. #6
    SitePoint Addict trigger's Avatar
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    For the record, of course I want to make it accessible for users, disabled or not. As I've said before, the site is geared towards senior citizens, so my main goals were to a) make it load fast b) make it easy to read and navigate c)make it handicapped-accessible
    I think I'll go with the null alt text, that seems to be the best solution.
    Not another drugstore, not another town
    Tired of the overdrop, I had to put it down
    You know I was the man when I put the Crown down
    Then rolled around the Chemicals to pave the New Sound


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