[rfc-i] Accessibility and figures

Paul Hoffman paul.hoffman at vpnc.org
Fri Apr 27 09:45:25 PDT 2012

On Apr 27, 2012, at 9:18 AM, Larry Masinter wrote:

>> What do you mean by "described"? Assume for a moment that you have a diagram showing the relationship between entities, such as 
>> Figure 1 in draft-iab-rfc-editor-model-v2. What do you propose that the accessibility text for such a diagram say?
> I think the very next paragraph the next paragraph after Figure 1 in http://tools.ietf.org/id/draft-iab-rfc-editor-model-v2-05.txt   is just the kind of textual accessible description of the information in the diagram I meant.
> (That's the paragraph starting with "In this model ...")

If in the future we have HTML with pointers to graphics, you would want that paragraph to be the alt-text? That seems unwieldy.

> Now, the diagram has marginally more information:

No, it has much more information than the paragraph. The amount of difference is relevant for this discussion.

> You don't have to read RFC 4844 to see what the four existing streams of documents are. 
> There are links in the diagram that aren't described in the text, but I don't think those links are very useful  (it's suspicious to have a box labeled "Community at Large" as if it were a single entity), and many of the diagrammed relationships are not apparent from the diagram (ISOC and RSOC).  But the diagram is there for illustrative purposes, and all of the relationships that are interesting seem to me to be described in the text or at least in referenced documents.

...which is exactly the point of this thread. Are you expecting the accessibility text to be a full description of the contents of the figure? If not, is a simple summary good enough?

Most people on the list appear to agree that figures are normative, regardless of whether they are text-art or graphics-art. Is the accessibility text you say we need also normative? If not, a sight-impaired reader will not be able to rely on it. If you are adding accessibility text to make the spec implementable by a sight-impaired reader, the accessibility text needs to describe the contents of the art completely and accurately.

I propose that accessibility text should be allowed to be descriptive and not complete, and should be considered non-normative.

--Paul Hoffman

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