[Athen] Word 2016 and JAWS/NVDA Image ALT text

Chagnon | PubCom chagnon at pubcom.com
Wed Feb 22 11:36:07 PST 2017

Venessa wrote:

“Yet some others, including Microsoft, are indicating that we should be filling in both.”

A few years back, some assistive technologies would read both the title and description fields and users were tortured by hearing the Alt-text twice. Please, let’s not go back to that!

The solution is two part:

1. The international standards groups must create and manage the standards (WCAG and PDF/UA). These become the rule of the game, so to speak.

2. All 5 stakeholder groups must abide by the standards. They must agree to play by the rules of the game.

That means all software companies (mainly Microsoft and Adobe) must stop making up their own unique tools and labels, and instead create the tools that meet the accessibility standards. Example: it’s called “alt-text” not “description” or anything else. “Title” isn’t required for PDF/UA, and as far as I know, not for WCAG either. “Title” generally isn’t recognized by any AT.

All assistive technologies must build their tools to recognize the accessibility standards. It’s not a choice to read either the “title” or “description” field: they should only read the “alt-text” field.

Us content creators must create documents and digital content that meets the standards.

Those who use assistive technologies must learn how to use their AT tools.

And the standards groups must continually adjust the standards to meet technology changes, as well as work to bring more diverse content under the standards.

If all stakeholders don’t agree to the same rules, then nothing is going to work. As content creators, we can’t customize our content for every potential combo of operating system and assistive technology; that’s not a feasible solution.

Instead, we create our content to meet the standards. In this case, we fill in a field box that should be called “Alt-Text.” If a particular assistive technology isn’t presenting that information correctly, then we must make them aware of the failure and have them correct their AT.

I know those in academia must from time to time find a temporary solution to meet a student’s needs, but that should be only a temporary workaround, not a permanent procedure or policy.

And for goodness sake, tell the AT manufacturer about the shortcoming of their AT. If we don’t squeak up, they’ll never correct the error.

--Bevi Chagnon

— — —

Bevi Chagnon | <http://www.pubcom.com/> www.PubCom.com

Technologists, Consultants, Trainers, Designers, and Developers

for publishing & communication

| Acrobat PDF | Print | EPUBS | Sec. 508 Accessibility |

— — —

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://mailman12.u.washington.edu/pipermail/athen-list/attachments/20170222/05799d31/attachment.html>

More information about the athen-list mailing list