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Accessibility and Usability Forum

Alt text
The program doesn't make it readable

5+ Year Member

Msg#: 3944747 posted 11:27 am on Jul 2, 2009 (gmt 0)

Three years ago, as a complete novice,I inherited a website using Frontpage. Then I upgraded to Office 2007 and lost FP. After trying several freebies I settled on Publisher, which I find VERY easy to use. I have a blind son, and am going blind myself, so was very careful to insert alt text for all the pictures - and Publisher has a Design Checker which reminds you to do so. It also inserts alt text for the WordArt I used for headings. So I was really annoyed to find that the alt text was not visible to Jaws - the market leader in screen readers. If I find another web-building program, how will I know if it does deliver real accessibility? And how will I find one that is as easy to use (I don't know html, ccs, php or any other initials in the web library) as Publisher?



WebmasterWorld Senior Member piatkow us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member

Msg#: 3944747 posted 12:47 pm on Jul 2, 2009 (gmt 0)

The alt attribute is where the alternate text should reside. I haven't tested any screen readers myself and an overly brief check with Google wasn't especially helpful with references to reports of tests involving linked images and images with both alt and title attributes defined.

I am afraid that to debug a problem like this you need to understand the code that Publisher produces. If I was in your position I would first hand code a simple web page with just a picture and test to determine if the problem was with the reader or with the code generation. Actually you should be able to pick up sufficient html to do that amount of hand coding in a couple of hours.


5+ Year Member

Msg#: 3944747 posted 4:06 pm on Jul 2, 2009 (gmt 0)

Thank you, Piatkow - but I don't even know where or how to START learning html. At 76 years old it has been a pretty steep learning curve to build a website at all - learning html too sounds like the last straw! Though it does seem it would be useful - my blind son would like me to build a website for him to offer help for businesses to make their sites blind (and sight-impaired) friendly. Is there an easy idiot's guide to html readily available?


WebmasterWorld Senior Member drdoc us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Msg#: 3944747 posted 5:50 pm on Jul 3, 2009 (gmt 0)

If the image doesn't load,
alt will be read. Most blind users turn off images, since there is really no sense in having images load when you cannot see them.

The attribute that will be read, whether the image is loaded or not, is the title attribute.

Advice to developers: use both alt and title, but make sure you first understand how each are supposed to work.

Advice to blind users: turn off images, as it almost guarantees a better experience.


5+ Year Member

Msg#: 3944747 posted 6:26 pm on Jul 3, 2009 (gmt 0)

Thank you, DrDoc, that would certainly make web-building easier. I will pass it on to my son for his reactions.

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