This leads me to suggest something I haven't seen mentioned in any of the recent accessibility threads: remove decorative images.
"But wait!" I hear from the audience, "those images are part of the corporate identity, crucial to our all-important branding, part of the site's design."
Well then, what the heck are they doing in the markup?! Write this down on a postit and stick it to your monitor:
If the image isn't about the content and the content isn't about the image, then the image shouldn't be there!
There is another option that the use of the word "design" should have caused you to think of--and really, this has been a realistic if not universally available option since the release of IE5, lo those many years ago--that alternative option is CSS [w3.org].
Most if not all of this decorative cruft that you find in the markup (i.e. in the html code) of web pages can be removed--at the design stage--to external stylesheets. This includes rounded corners, list-item bullets, logos and graphical headlines (via fir [google.com]) and non-content images such as the ever popular 'happy suit person,' 'fluffy corporate cloud' and 'girl with headset' genres.
Removing these images to stylesheets has a couple of obvious advantages:
If you think this sounds like a plug for css you're right. It is. If you think it seems out of place in the accessibility forum, you're wrong. It's not. Proper separation of content from design is essential to the creation of accessible pages.
In the recent Target accessibility thread, people were, to my amazement, discussing making complete duplicate 'shadow sites' for accessibility purposes. But, provided the content is logically structured and soundly marked-up, if the design elements of a site are added via css, then the pages will be well on their way to being accessible documents with little or no extra work required.
Unfortunately, given that many pages out there are built of sliced up images, it's not necessarily going to be practical to retrofit an existing site to use all css background images for non-content images, but there is absolutely no reason for any new site ever to use a spacer gif again.