BBC News: Website owners face prosecution - Grin with cat attached — LiveJournal
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BBC News: Website owners face prosecution Sep. 18th, 2003 04:02 pm
Ensuring web sites are easy for disabled people to use is no longer an option - it is a legal obligation.

The Royal National Institute of the Blind in Peterborough is warning that anyone running a site faces prosecution if they fail to comply with the law.


From: babysimon
Date: September 18th, 2003 - 08:19 am (Link)
Useless BBC quote:

All web pages should provide text for every image on screen

I recently used a screen reader for the first time and discovered how wrong this is. Having Stephen Hawking read out "[name of client] logo. Picture of a building. Picture of a car. Picture of a tree. Picture of a house." etc on his way to the navigation is deeply frustrating. I now try to use alt= only when I'm going to put something deeply meaningful in the attribute.
From: wechsler
Date: September 18th, 2003 - 08:23 am (Link)
I'm getting hold of the RNIB infopack on this - I'll see what it says.
From: dennyd
Date: September 18th, 2003 - 09:53 am (Link)
The W3C accessibility stuff explicitly used to say to use alt="" for images that were just decoration etc.

I once suggested to the RNIB that they should keep a list of sites that had complied to some sort of standard, for the benefit of their members, as part of some correspondence regarding the accessibility of UK Fetish Info (they said it was good). They never replied to my email... then a few months later they launched a new initiative where they named sites who they felt were working hard on accessibility. They then ignored my emails asking them whether UK Fetish Info qualified for a mention. I'm still as bit narked about that lot :)
From: sashajwolf
Date: September 19th, 2003 - 12:50 am (Link)
The W3C accessibility stuff explicitly used to say to use alt="" for images that were just decoration etc.

It now says that text equivalents must be used for all images, even images used as bullets (which is deprecated anyway, but there's a paragraph saying "if you really must do this, provide a text equivalent as well").

(no subject) - (Anonymous)
From: babysimon
Date: September 18th, 2003 - 08:57 am (Link)
Sorry - I should have said "only use alt= with a non-empty string". Alt is mandatory now, innit.

My point was I'd been thinking in a Lynx-centric way, and using a screen reader really raised the bar for what "the user needed to know about". As in, I'd typically want to use it 0-3 times per page now.
From: barakta
Date: September 19th, 2003 - 02:59 pm (Link)
I've been trying to write accessible websites for years now however when colleges/universities are teaching web design they will give the broken badly design javascripty bloat many more marks than they will give my perfectly presentable website which conforms as much as possible to accessibility guidelines.

I continued to produce accessible sites and justified my reasons for doing so, and will continue to do so, I am not the worlds best web-designer but I can make something clean and workable.

Lets hope that sites will actually take heed of this, and the marketing/designery people will take note of what their Flashy bloaty stuff looks/sounds like to someone using accessibility software.

I suspect it will take a couple of high profile cases before the mainstream take it into account and start to either provide text-only alternatives or versions of the site which actually make sense on a site reader.

This has been too long in coming... Lets hope it actually has some effect cos even as a non visually impaired user I'm sick of evil websites.