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> David, creating better user agents for the visually impaired would
> probably be an excellent idea. Certainly it is an under explored area.
> My guess would be that nobody has found an ROI model that would make it
> worthwhile economically.
> In the mean time, I wonder how adding alt text or title text to a link
> can create a problem for the vast majority of the audience, as your
> last sentence suggests. I'm not visually impaired (except that I do
> wear glasses and do get eye fatigue looking at poorly designed sites.
> Those site, in my not so humble opinion, rely on flash to cover up a
> lack of substance. Just because you CAN do something flashy with a web
> page does not mean it's easier on the user.
I suppose I wasn't clear enough. I'm all in favor of using alt text, and
that's why, in a previous message, I suggested that succinct graphic button
links with descriptive alt text as an alternative to longer text links
viewable by everyone. I keep alt text turned on, and I even still access the
net now and again with a text-only Lynx browser...still the fastest way to
surf the 'net.
I wrote the email you replied to when Rima Ruhman pointed out that software
readers print link lists, but that those lists do not include alt text for
graphic hyperlinks. Even though I've done *very* little programming, I know
it wouldn't be that difficult to upgrade a reader to list all links,
including the graphic links and the accompanying alt text.
Do you know how software readers handle the Title tag? Also, I presume that
software readers must make use of the alt text in some fashion...do you know
what it takes for a blind user to follow a link that they discover via the
alt text that didn't appear in the links list?
I worked for quite awhile on a medical web site doing a complete rewrite and
reorganization. Many of the users that access this site have spinal
injuries, so I tried to keep the navigation simple as possible, and provided
alt text for the few graphics I used. One resource folks might keep in mind
when designing web sites is Bobby, a web site that helps identify barriers
to access by disabled users. You can find it at : http://www.cast.org/bobby/
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