The case of the missing alt attribute.

Jennifer Sutton brought this interesting factoid to my attention today: the single most common HTML validation error is the missing alt attribute. Of the 100 most common validation errors collected by W3C Love, a missing alt attribute comes it at number one — with almost double the occurrences of the next most common error. It’s 2012, and the key mistakes in HTML seem to remain the same. Now, one can’t help but hope — since these are the results of […]

HTML 5 has cool stuff: new input types!

Even though many elements of HTML 5 have only limited application at this time due to lacking browser support, there’s little reason not to make use of them. The design of the markup language is intended to minimize dependence on user agents, failing invisibly if the browser doesn’t offer that feature, which helps encourage early use of new elements. Of course, the lack of support does have some consequences. We can’t just go out writing HTML 5 without having significant […]

Alternative Text for Significant Images

In the comments from my most recent article, “Supporting Standards that Support Accessibility,” a number of interesting thoughts were raised concerning the requirement (or lack thereof) of the alt attribute in HTML 5. It’s a difficult issue. I’ve seen numerous articles around the web which discuss the fact that HTML 5 does not require the alt attribute. To some degree, this is true: HTML 5 provides exclusions to the requirement. In situations where an image is significant but no alternative […]

Supporting Standards that Support Accessibility

The justification that a web site is accessible because it “follows standards” contains a serious fallacy. Specifically, the assumption that standards support accessibility. One root of current standard accessibility practice is conformance to the HTML or XHTML standards set by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). This is a fine practice, and certainly should be maintained. Using correct syntax and following a standardized method of communicating information is always a solid best practice. However, this should absolutely not be taken […]

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