(k) PAGE ALTERNATIVES
A text-only version of a web page should be created only when there is
no other way to make the content accessible.
Creating a text-only version of a Web site should be
done when there is no other way to make the content accessible, or when
it offers significant advantages over the main version. The text-only
version must provide the functionality equivalent to that of the main
A common misconception is that everyone should automatically
create a text-only (or "accessible) version of their Web site.
Why is this a false assumption?
- A text-only site will probably
be more accessible to someone who is blind, but what about someone who
has a learning disability or a hearing impairment? Images and visual
multimedia can certainly benefit these groups of people.
- Text-only sites do not always
contain the same information that the graphics-based website contains.
Often times, content is posted in the form of graphics (without a sufficient
alt-tag) that identifies some "deal" or "breaking news".
This information can get lost in the transltion to a text-only site.
- Can you imagine how much
additional time it would take to maintain two (regular and text-only)
versions of a Web site??? For this reason, text-only sites are often
out of date.
Ultimately we are aiming for universal
accessibility, or Web sites that are accessible to everyone
regardless of physical or developmental abilities or impairments. These
types of websites ARE possible!!
Web developers should seek to make their content as universally
accessible as possible, recognizing that there will always be a small
minority of individuals for whom the content will not be fully accessible.
* Great article: Visual
vs. Cognitive Disabilities