Clients who use our manuals are blind. They read our articles using software generically called Screen Readers. Screen Readers, such as Jaws, DVDA, Window-Eyes and others, convert visual text to audio.
When encountering Graphics, where text (if any) is unreadable, the screen reader will read "Graphic" OR will read the ALT-Text. An example of this would be a map of the World with Countries appearing in text. Screen readers would not be able to extract the text from the raster image.
ScreenSteps default behavior is to add the Step Title to the ALT-text for any screen captures. This is an improvement over nothing but the preferred state is to have the ALT-Text = "" (double quotes). This encoding is universally recognized by Screen Readers as an instruction to ignore the graphic, as it has no advantage to the blind reader. Current the Screen reader user in a Step titled as "So what is Active directory" would hear the same information twice, for every step in the Article. This is just redundant noise and would annoy any of us if it was presented visually.
There are many development standards that support this approach.
My suggestion, and in fact my plea, is to add a feature to provide a site option that will allow authors to provide a global replacement value for ALT-Text. When present (ie, "") will replace the current protocol for repeating the Step Title. There will STILL be the option to replace ALT text on a graphic-by-graphic basis, this feature will merely replace the current default behavior.
I accept that this presents no compelling advantage to the majority of ScreenSteps users, however, in support of persons with disabilities, it is the correct thing to do.
Any support for this suggestion would be greatly appreciated.
Screen Steps (the product) and the peeps @ Blue Mango rock!
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