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Extra info for Web Accessibility: Web Standards and Regulatory Compliance

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However, if all the images had alt-text, a person who cannot see would get the same information as someone who can see. With equivalent alt-text, the page is equally useful with or without images. Many websites today use images for navigation, where missing alt-text makes the site totally unusable. Note that providing alt-text improves accessibility without changing the visual appearance of the website. Indeed, most accessibility improvements are “under the hood” and don’t change the user experience for users without disabilities.

Some people have blurry vision and cannot read text unless it is very large. Shawn has a neurological condition that makes it hard to focus on small text, so she increases the size of text and images in her browser. Richard also has blurry vision. It is common for people to have multiple disabilities. While access to people with disabilities is the primary focus of web accessibility, it also benefits people without disabilities. For example, a key principle of web accessibility is designing websites that are flexible to meet different user needs.

The interface to insert an image and provide alt-text should also be accessible to content developers with disabilities. Evaluation tools: Check that alt-text exists and help determine if it is appropriate. User agents: Provide human and machine interfaces to the alt-text. Assistive technologies: Provide human interfaces to the alt-text in different modalities, such as in synthetic speech. The Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) guidelines, which are described in the “Bringing Together the Components” section later in this chapter, define how to implement alt-text for accessibility in the different technical components.

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