[Blindmath] Alt description and long description for images

Madeleine Rothberg madeleine_rothberg at wgbh.org
Tue Feb 12 07:34:08 CST 2013


The situation with longdesc in HTML5 has been in flux, but longdesc is now
headed for a more stable definition in an extension to HTML5. The other
options mentioned below are still reasonable, in sites where they don't
disrupt other goals for the page. But if you are interested in the latest
news on longdesc and other markup for image descriptions, here is a recent
report from the Diagram Center at Bookshare. My organization, NCAM, is a
partner and monitors longdesc and other standards issues for Diagram.

http://diagramcenter.org/standards-and-practices/html-standards.html

-Madeleine

-- 
Madeleine Rothberg
Project Director
Carl and Ruth Shapiro Family National Center for Accessible Media at WGBH
http://ncam.wgbh.org
madeleine_rothberg at wgbh.org



On 2/11/13 6:21 PM, "Richard Baldwin" <baldwin at dickbaldwin.com> wrote:

>Thanks Michael, I will look into those suggestions for testing the alt
>description.
>
>Regarding the missing long descriptions, I found a web page at
>http://webaim.org/techniques/images/longdesc that reads as follows:
>
>"There are several ways of providing a long description for images. These
>options are listed below, in order of most preferred to least preferred:
>
>   1. Provide the long description in the context of the document itself.
>   2. Provide a link to a long description via a normal text link.
>   3. Provide a link to a long description via the longdesc attribute."
>
>That is good news for me because I know how to do either 1 or 2 very
>reliably, which means that I don't need to worry about supporting the
>longdesc attribute.
>
>That author goes on to say later that "...For these reasons, longdesc has
>been dropped from the HTML5 specification."
>
>**
>That definitely means that I don't need to support it.
>
>Thanks again,
>Dick Baldwin
>
>On Mon, Feb 11, 2013 at 4:58 PM, Michael Whapples <mwhapples at aim.com>
>wrote:
>
>> I find a few graphics, but one of them says "Image 2 . Input image #1."
>>
>> I think the alt-tags are working fine.
>>
>> Could you test this by getting your browser to not download images and
>> show alt-tags instead? Either that or a text-only browser (on Linux I
>>would
>> head for using lynx, for windows I am not sure but may be webbie
>> http://www.webbie.org.uk/ might help with testing accessibility).
>>
>> Michael Whapples
>> On 11/02/2013 22:14, Richard Baldwin wrote:
>>
>>> On further examination, I believe that I lost the long description but
>>>the
>>> alt should be there. Can anyone with a screen reader confirm that the
>>>alt
>>> either is or is not there for the image at at
>>> 
>>>http://cnx.org/content/m44148/**latest/#Image_1<http://cnx.org/content/m
>>>44148/latest/#Image_1> (and for three other images
>>> on that page as well).
>>>
>>> If the alt is there, I know how to restore the long description without
>>> too
>>> much reprogramming. If the alt is not there, I have a more difficult
>>> problem to solve.
>>>
>>> For anyone who may be interested, documents are uploaded to the
>>> cnx.orgsite in an xml format where they are then converted to html,
>>> pdf, epub,
>>> etc. The alt is in the xml file that I uploaded but the long
>>>description
>>> is
>>> missing from that file meaning of course that it will also be missing
>>>from
>>> the final output. I hope you tell me that the alt is in the final
>>>output.
>>>
>>> Thanks,
>>> Dick Baldwin
>>>
>>> On Mon, Feb 11, 2013 at 3:42 PM, Richard Baldwin
>>><baldwin at dickbaldwin.com
>>> >**wrote:
>>>
>>>  Never mind. I think I figured out where the alt and long description
>>>are
>>>> getting lost.
>>>>
>>>> Thanks,
>>>> Dick Baldwin
>>>>
>>>> On Mon, Feb 11, 2013 at 3:21 PM, Richard Baldwin <
>>>> baldwin at dickbaldwin.com>**wrote:
>>>>
>>>>  Hmmm Strange. When I hover my mouse over the flags on he duxbury
>>>>site I
>>>>> don't see what you describe in either Google Chrome, Firefox, or IE.
>>>>>
>>>>> Can someone with Jaws or NVDA take a look at this?
>>>>>
>>>>> Thanks,
>>>>> Dick Baldwin
>>>>>
>>>>> On Mon, Feb 11, 2013 at 3:10 PM, George Bell <
>>>>> George at techno-vision.co.uk>**wrote:
>>>>>
>>>>>  Hi Dick,
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Speaking as a sighted user, they don't seem to be appearing as I'd
>>>>>> expect when hovering the mouse over the images.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> The following is an example line from the main page here
>>>>>> http://www.duxburysystems.com.  You'll see a large selection of
>>>>>>flags,
>>>>>> and if you hover your mouse over a flag, the Alt Text is displayed.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> <a href="default.asp?z=lv"><img src="flags/latvia.gif" alt="Latvian
>>>>>> translation" width="45" height="30" title="Latvian translation"></a>
>>>>>>
>>>>>> George Bell
>>>>>> UKAAF  (UK  Association for Accessible Formats)
>>>>>>
>>>>>> e-mail: georgebell at ukaaf.org
>>>>>> Web: http://www.ukaaf.org
>>>>>> Direct Tel: 0160 479 2777
>>>>>> Direct Fax: 0160 479 2726
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>> -----Original Message-----
>>>>>> From: Blindmath
>>>>>>[mailto:blindmath-bounces@**nfbnet.org<blindmath-bounces at nfbnet.org>]
>>>>>> On Behalf Of
>>>>>> Richard Baldwin
>>>>>> Sent: 11 February 2013 20:47
>>>>>> To: BlindMath Mailing List
>>>>>> Subject: [Blindmath] Alt description and long description for images
>>>>>>
>>>>>> For the first time ever, I am attempting to put meaningful alt
>>>>>> descriptions and long descriptions on some images on a web page.
>>>>>> However, I
>>>>>> have no way of knowing if it is working.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> If someone could examine the alt description and the long
>>>>>>description
>>>>>> of
>>>>>> the image at
>>>>>>http://cnx.org/content/m44148/**latest/#Image_1<http://cnx.org/conten
>>>>>>t/m44148/latest/#Image_1>and tell me
>>>>>> what you find there, that would be very helpful.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Thanks,
>>>>>> Dick Baldwin
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>> --
>>>>>> Richard G. Baldwin (Dick Baldwin)
>>>>>> Home of Baldwin's on-line Java Tutorials http://www.DickBaldwin.com
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Object-Oriented OOP with Java
>>>>>> 
>>>>>>http://cnx.org/content/**col11441/latest/<http://cnx.org/content/col1
>>>>>>1441/latest/>
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Professor of Computer Information Technology Austin Community
>>>>>>College
>>>>>> (512) 223-4758
>>>>>> mailto:Baldwin at DickBaldwin.com
>>>>>> http://www.austincc.edu/**baldwin/
>>>>>><http://www.austincc.edu/baldwin/>
>>>>>> ______________________________**_________________
>>>>>> Blindmath mailing list
>>>>>> Blindmath at nfbnet.org
>>>>>> 
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>>>>>>et.org/mailman/listinfo/blindmath_nfbnet.org>
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>>>>>> Blindmath:
>>>>>>
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>>>>>> 
>>>>>>george%40techno-vision.co.uk<http://nfbnet.org/mailman/options/blindm
>>>>>>ath_nfbnet.org/george%40techno-vision.co.uk>
>>>>>>
>>>>>> ______________________________**_________________
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>>>>>>_nfbnet.org/baldwin%40dickbaldwin.com>
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> --
>>>>> Richard G. Baldwin (Dick Baldwin)
>>>>> Home of Baldwin's on-line Java Tutorials
>>>>> http://www.DickBaldwin.com
>>>>>
>>>>> Object-Oriented OOP with Java
>>>>> 
>>>>>http://cnx.org/content/**col11441/latest/<http://cnx.org/content/col11
>>>>>441/latest/>
>>>>>
>>>>> Professor of Computer Information Technology
>>>>> Austin Community College
>>>>> (512) 223-4758
>>>>> mailto:Baldwin at DickBaldwin.com
>>>>> http://www.austincc.edu/**baldwin/ <http://www.austincc.edu/baldwin/>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>
>>>> --
>>>> Richard G. Baldwin (Dick Baldwin)
>>>> Home of Baldwin's on-line Java Tutorials
>>>> http://www.DickBaldwin.com
>>>>
>>>> Object-Oriented OOP with Java
>>>> 
>>>>http://cnx.org/content/**col11441/latest/<http://cnx.org/content/col114
>>>>41/latest/>
>>>>
>>>> Professor of Computer Information Technology
>>>> Austin Community College
>>>> (512) 223-4758
>>>> mailto:Baldwin at DickBaldwin.com
>>>> http://www.austincc.edu/**baldwin/ <http://www.austincc.edu/baldwin/>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>
>>>
>>
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>>net.org/baldwin%40dickbaldwin.com>
>>
>
>
>
>-- 
>Richard G. Baldwin (Dick Baldwin)
>Home of Baldwin's on-line Java Tutorials
>http://www.DickBaldwin.com
>
>Object-Oriented OOP with Java
>http://cnx.org/content/col11441/latest/
>
>Professor of Computer Information Technology
>Austin Community College
>(512) 223-4758
>mailto:Baldwin at DickBaldwin.com
>http://www.austincc.edu/baldwin/
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