Text-Only Alternatives: Are They Right for Your Site?

Text-Only Alternatives: Are They Right for Your Site?

Jody Condit Fagan (Southern Illinois University Carbondale, USA)
Copyright: © 2003 |Pages: 21
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-107-0.ch004
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Abstract

Providing a text-only version of a Web site is one way that Web developers can meet the accessibility guidelines suggested by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). Text equivalents need to communicate the same information as non-text content. This flexible format allows content to be accessible to assistive technology, to new devices such as handheld computers, and to text-only Web browsers. Examples of all three are described in this chapter. One way the text-only challenge can be met is to use proper HTML coding to provide text equivalents to non-text items. This chapter reviews the applicable W3C guidelines and technical support documents and provides examples of their implementation. Another way to meet the challenge is to create a text-only version that reproduces the same content. The most efficient and accurate way is to use a parsing program that converts HTML pages into text-only equivalents on-the-fly. Two case studies are described in the chapter outlining examples of this process. By offering a text-only version, developers can ensure that their Web content is accessible to the widest range of users.

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