This is a subject that never even crossed my mind until it was pointed out to me that a website of mine was not handicapped friendly....
We all strive to make web sites that are beautiful to look at as well as to read, and there is nothing wrong with this. Lots of graphics and very pleasing to the eye......
" To the eye. " We forget about the blind surfers on the Internet...
" Blind Surfers ? "
The blind have computers and these computers have software that enables the computer to be the surfer's eyes. It's all pretty amazing when you learn something about it.
And it has it's limits, it can't see graphics.. and so it will only see the text and a hole where ever there is a graphic.. and so, if you have a ton of graphics, your web site won't be anything other than a blank screen to them, bummer.
The way around this problem is the, " ALT " tag. Say you have a graphic in your html..
( img src="RichDs.gif" height="100" width="80" )
to make this graphic tell the computer what it is about, you add the Alt tag. And so it would look like this,
( img src="RichDs.gif" height="100" width="80" alt="A picture of that ham, RichDs" )
Now when the blind reader comes along the computer will, " see " the alt tag and read it. It doesn't matter how long the alt tag is. If you want to explain the graphic or picture... knock yourselves out. A word of caution here, don't add periods or commas or any other things like that in your tag. Doesn't work. I learned this one the hard way when my code wouldn't work.
Another important thing is the use of an alternate, text menu on every page of your web site. I know it sounds like a ton of extra work but believe me it is worth the effort. The text menu doesn't have to be large and obtrusive and it can be an attractive little item that will balance out the look of your site.
One last little thing.. You can use the alt tags in your Java Script Roll Overs too...