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#1 2019-10-20 00:43:12

hndrsn
Member
Registered: 2012-10-31
Posts: 25

ADA compliance

i have just been made aware of a number of lawsuits directed at small art galleries because their websites are not ADA (Adults with Disabilities Act) compliant. Probably the usual shyster lawyers, but as usual, it's the small businesses that suffer. I would imagine this would apply to anyone selling photos etc. thru their website as well as bricks and mortar shops.
Is there any provision in Backlight to make the site ADA compliant?
Any info at all would be appreciated.
Thanks
Dave

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#2 2019-10-20 01:35:55

Daniel Leu
Moderator
Registered: 2012-10-11
Posts: 1,462
Website

Re: ADA compliance

Just found this interesting read: https://medium.com/@krisrivenburgh/the- … 3c1d58fad9

And a short summary: https://accessible.org/was/

Looks like most of the issues might be content and design of the page and less Backlight related issues.


Daniel Leu | Photography   
DanielLeu.com
My digital playground (eg, Backlight tips&tricks): lab.DanielLeu.com

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#3 2019-10-22 02:41:27

JimR
Member
Registered: 2012-11-30
Posts: 326
Website

Re: ADA compliance

I've done work on web sites to get ADA compliance. It's a long and complicated issue. Last I checked there's no actual "test" to confirm compliance. Most of the hard work is done by browsers. You also have to test with screen readers, which means proper html tagging and alt-text.

The short answer is all your content needs to be available to people with disabilities. I can't imagine how a blind person would need access to photography, is one of the use cases? There's also the near-blind, but really?

To understand how to address the issues for your site, you'd want to read the complaints about the similar sites and address those issues.


--Jim

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#4 2019-10-23 00:19:36

hndrsn
Member
Registered: 2012-10-31
Posts: 25

Re: ADA compliance

Jim, I completely agree on the "need" for blind persons to access visual art online. Unfortunately it's all about bottom feeder lawyers looking to make a quick buck from small business, through out of court settlements, because they can't afford a lawyer to actually take the case to court. I know at least one gallery that has had to do this, and there are many more. From all I've read about the issue, the guidelines for what type of business needs to be ADA compliant are murky at best. But as long as the legal system tolerates this kind of abuse, the bottom feeders will carry on.

The article referenced by Daniel Leu is an eye-opener, and a bit scary if you have any type of online business.

https://medium.com/@krisrivenburgh/the- … 3c1d58fad9

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#5 2019-10-23 02:54:56

JimR
Member
Registered: 2012-11-30
Posts: 326
Website

Re: ADA compliance

As I recommended, you want to read the complaint. Then review those issues on your site. I suspect those other sites you're referring to were doing dumb "creative" things and that's what caused problems. For example, you don't want to use Flash as a UI.

If you use good design and proper HTML, you should be good. It's pretty easy to be compliant.


--Jim

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#6 2019-10-23 03:06:24

Daniel Leu
Moderator
Registered: 2012-10-11
Posts: 1,462
Website

Re: ADA compliance

Jim, one question: for the alt attribute, is it sufficient to just have the title of the image or do you have to describe the content of the image? Thanks!


Daniel Leu | Photography   
DanielLeu.com
My digital playground (eg, Backlight tips&tricks): lab.DanielLeu.com

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#7 2019-10-23 03:24:40

JimR
Member
Registered: 2012-11-30
Posts: 326
Website

Re: ADA compliance

Ah, I just read one of the complaints. It's a template used in all of these, nearly all filed by the same guy. The main part seems to be targeted at the store's usability by the blind. Also note all of the lawsuits are targeted a businesses.

Now that I'm curious, I looked at my own site to see ADA issues. The main one is the lack of alt-text for visual elements.

Changes for Backlight

  • The icons need alt-text, so the right-arrow icon needs something like alt-text='right arrow' and that sort of thing.

  • The slide show displays the image, but without alt-text. It's there in the permalink page, but not on the slide show. The alt-text for the image on the permalink page isn't great. It's just the name of the file. It would be better as the description, title, or caption (if available). I've mention this as an SEO enhancement, but the name of the file should pass ADA.

  • Forms need labels and possibly instructions. This might impact you if you're using a store or client response forms.

The rest of the changes would be done by the content creator, and outside of Backlight. This means adding titles, descriptions, that sort of thing to your pages. If you write content, use descriptive text for links. If you use an image you need alt-text to describe it.

Most of the support is provided by the OS and web browser. If you just use good html practice, you're good to go. If you want to test your site, you need to get the "Job Access With Speech" tool, otherwise known as JAWS. Then try navigating your site with that.

Last edited by JimR (2019-10-23 03:25:20)


--Jim

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#8 2019-10-23 03:37:33

JimR
Member
Registered: 2012-11-30
Posts: 326
Website

Re: ADA compliance

Daniel Leu wrote:

Jim, one question: for the alt attribute, is it sufficient to just have the title of the image or do you have to describe the content of the image? Thanks!

This is where the whole ADA compliancy issues breaks down to opinion, and not b/w rules. Currently BL is using the file name as the alt-text for the JPG. If your file name is "IMG_0001.jpg" that wouldn't pass.

I'm using the meta tokens to create a simple and good file name, such as the model's name or flower or better yet the name of the type of flower. That should pass ADA, unless someone want to complain they need something even more descriptive than flower lol.

In most cases I provide a description which I want to appear in my galleries. I use the meta tokens for this too. If I wrote a description, that appears. If not, then I default to the folder name that contains the image. Given that I use good folder names, like flower. This works pretty well (except if someone doesn't like flower as the description roll)

It's a combination of the software putting the content where it needs to be, and the content creator providing good content.

The BL changes I would make I outlined earlier in the thread. The main one is adding alt-text to all visual navigational elements. That you can make builtin and requires no input from us. The alt-text for the photo needs to be added in the slide show, and you can simply make that the same as it is on the permalink page (the file name). I would _love_ to have more control over the alt-text. I would prefer my description, or the caption/title.


--Jim

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#9 2019-10-23 03:47:09

Daniel Leu
Moderator
Registered: 2012-10-11
Posts: 1,462
Website

Re: ADA compliance

Thank you, Jim. Good guidelines!


Daniel Leu | Photography   
DanielLeu.com
My digital playground (eg, Backlight tips&tricks): lab.DanielLeu.com

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#10 2019-10-23 05:30:20

tgalex
Member
From: Saline, Michigan
Registered: 2016-06-22
Posts: 80
Website

Re: ADA compliance

Jim - great guidelines but the biggest problem I see is reworking the file names.  I think most of us set up file naming structure to be able to find an image among thousands in our files and folders, and not something descriptive such as a caption.  It may solve one issue and really create another.

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#11 2019-10-24 06:31:11

markh
Member
From: Center of The US
Registered: 2012-09-24
Posts: 380
Website

Re: ADA compliance

Wow. Thanks all for starting this eye-opening discussion. The whole ADA thing had never even crossed my mind until now. Looks like I need to change a few things in my content. Although, good intentions aren't worth much in a world where anyone can sue anyone for anything including everything. "And so it goes..." as Linda Ellerbee used to say.
Mark

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#12 2019-10-24 11:35:52

Matthew
Administrator
From: San Francisco, CA
Registered: 2012-09-24
Posts: 5,649
Website

Re: ADA compliance

Backlight is set up in such a way that if you're doing the work for good SEO, then you should be pretty damn near where you want to be for ADA as well. We've always encouraged users to adopt good file-naming practices, as well as captioning and titling of images. A lot of this stuff is less about the platform, and more about the content.

Alt tags for images are using file name, but it wouldn't be that big of a thing for us to switch that out for titles or captions, and fall back on file names when those are empty.

In HTML, the ALT attribute is -- insofar as I am aware -- only available for IMG tags, and INPUT tags with type="image". Therefore, putting this on our icons -- which are font-based -- would be invalid. If we were to make any changes in this regard, we would probably need to rely on the TITLE attribute where valid, else land on an appropriate aria attribute.

I am happy to see that the gist of this discussion seems to be that Backlight is already doing most of the things you'd want it to be doing.


Campagna Pictures, http://campagnapictures.com
The Turning Gate, http://theturninggate.net

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#13 2019-10-24 11:50:23

Matthew
Administrator
From: San Francisco, CA
Registered: 2012-09-24
Posts: 5,649
Website

Re: ADA compliance

So i've redirected traffic from that other thread to here, to keep the topic consolidated and easy to follow.

As I've said above, not a big deal for me to change the ALT attribute on images to take caption or title, using file name as ultimate fallback. But I will need invested parties (i.e. you all) to come to some consensus on your preference for sequence of possible sources.

Like ...

Title => Caption => Filename?
Caption => Title => Filename?

Or ... let's not go bananas, but I'm open to other suggestions as well.


Campagna Pictures, http://campagnapictures.com
The Turning Gate, http://theturninggate.net

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#14 2019-10-24 12:20:09

tgalex
Member
From: Saline, Michigan
Registered: 2016-06-22
Posts: 80
Website

Re: ADA compliance

I personally prefer the Title > Caption > file name sequence.  Thanks Matthew!

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#15 2019-10-30 02:15:04

LifeIsABeach
Member
Registered: 2013-05-28
Posts: 37

Re: ADA compliance

Thanks, Matthew!!!

I like Title > Filename > Caption but would accept Title > Caption > Filename.

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#16 2019-10-30 04:18:22

Daniel Leu
Moderator
Registered: 2012-10-11
Posts: 1,462
Website

Re: ADA compliance

Browsing around the internet to get a better understanding (I like this analysis https://webaim.org/techniques/alttext/), it seems like Title to be the most appropriate choice. Caption provides too much information and should be included in the page content and not the alt attribute.

Personally, I would opt to have a token field in the Backlight album settings like we have for Caption. This way, one can set the alt attribute as they like it.

But if Title is the first choice, I'm happy smile


Daniel Leu | Photography   
DanielLeu.com
My digital playground (eg, Backlight tips&tricks): lab.DanielLeu.com

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#17 2019-10-31 02:07:04

LifeIsABeach
Member
Registered: 2013-05-28
Posts: 37

Re: ADA compliance

I agree with Daniel. Ultimately, it would be nice to be able to make selections for what goes in the alt tag. I agree that stuffing the alt tag with too much content could/would water down/mess with the results. From my own experience, when I use the alt tag to name a specific person, place, or vertical/unique item, and I leave it at that, I get the best results from a Google search.

I also want to mention that I have a LR plugin "LR/Instagram" and it provides me with an an extra meta field for hashtags. The hashtags field appears when I select the LR/Insta metadata preset in LR. In this case, I am not really looking for hashtags, I would love to have one for "alt tags" and have that be an option.

As I see it, there are basically three things that go with optimizing the image for search: Unique filename, unique alt tag, unique content.

Beyond that, and FWIW, my very best SEO experience from TTG products was working when I hacked previous CE versions so that I had individual HTML pages for each image where I could coordinate the HTML Title tag, description tag, alt tag, caption/content and URL. I tried going back to that recently using Backlight 2 and I couldn't work out the code using PHP Plugins to the extent it was a good "mobile/responsive" experience. I would still be using my old code but it was not mobile friendly/responsive and eventually go punished in the search engine results which favor mobile friendly.

pj

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#18 2019-11-03 11:52:23

Matthew
Administrator
From: San Francisco, CA
Registered: 2012-09-24
Posts: 5,649
Website

Re: ADA compliance

I'm implementing a custom field for IMG alt attribute. Accepts tokens in the same way as other, similar areas. Falls back on file name if set OFF, or is empty.


Campagna Pictures, http://campagnapictures.com
The Turning Gate, http://theturninggate.net

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#19 2019-11-03 17:00:42

Daniel Leu
Moderator
Registered: 2012-10-11
Posts: 1,462
Website

Re: ADA compliance

Thank you, Matt!


Daniel Leu | Photography   
DanielLeu.com
My digital playground (eg, Backlight tips&tricks): lab.DanielLeu.com

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#20 2019-11-03 19:16:36

markh
Member
From: Center of The US
Registered: 2012-09-24
Posts: 380
Website

Re: ADA compliance

That should work nicely. Thanks.
Mark

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#21 2019-11-03 22:36:22

tgalex
Member
From: Saline, Michigan
Registered: 2016-06-22
Posts: 80
Website

Re: ADA compliance

thanks Matthew!

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#22 2019-11-12 02:18:25

LifeIsABeach
Member
Registered: 2013-05-28
Posts: 37

Re: ADA compliance

Perfect. Thanks, Matthew!!!

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#23 2019-11-13 07:47:14

JimR
Member
Registered: 2012-11-30
Posts: 326
Website

Re: ADA compliance

I think the meta tokens is something to leverage when creating file names. This allows us (the content creators) to control things, rather than having you try to find a generic algorithm that works for everyone (and makes them happen).

For a file name, I would use a general pattern of <something><unique number>

<something> would be Title, or if no title then Caption. I use meta tokens to create my captions. If none is given, then it defaults to the folder name containing the image. I'd like to keep this idea for file names. So I guess I'm asking if meta tokens can be used to generate <something> in the file name.

<unique number> could be the number from the original image file name (e.g. IMG_7050). In other words, replace the "IMG" with the new <something>. I would avoid making it a sequence, since re-publishing would end up changing file names and confusing search engines. If you can't get to the original number in the file name, you can use the capture date to generate a unique number. It would have to be something like YYMMDDHHMMSS to be truly unique.

If you run into a name collision, you'd have to do something like adding "_2" to the end for the 2nd dup, "_3" for the 3rd, and so on.


--Jim

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#24 2019-11-15 16:33:48

Matthew
Administrator
From: San Francisco, CA
Registered: 2012-09-24
Posts: 5,649
Website

Re: ADA compliance

You should be good with latest update. big_smile


Campagna Pictures, http://campagnapictures.com
The Turning Gate, http://theturninggate.net

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