Image Maps Requirement

Overview

Client-side and server-side image maps need redundant text links; no major graphical browser provides access to the alt attribute of the area element for client-side image maps, and server-side image maps have no ability to identify links from the browser. In addition to the redundant text links, for client-side image maps, the alt attribute should still be provided for each of area elements with the destination of the link as the content.

Related Accessibility Requirements

Section 508
1194.22 (a) A text equivalent for every non-text element shall be provided (e.g., via "alt", "longdesc", or in element content).
1194.22 (e) Redundant text links shall be provided for each active region of a server-side image map.
1194.22 (f) Client-side image maps shall be provided instead of server-side image maps except where the regions cannot be defined with an available geometric shape.
Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 1.0)
1.1 Provide a text equivalent for every non-text element (e.g., via "alt", "longdesc", or in element content). [Priority 1]
1.2 Provide redundant text links for each active region of a server-side image map. [Priority 1]
9.1 Provide client-side image maps instead of server-side image maps except where the regions cannot be defined with an available geometric shape. [Priority 1]
13.1 Clearly identify the target of each link. [Priority 2]

HTML Markup Details

AREA
The area element is used as a part of map elements to create areas within images that activate links. The map element is often used to create navigation bars. Links created using the area element must have redundant text links since none of the major graphical browsers render alt attribute for the area element, making the content inaccessible to many visually impaired users.
IMG:ALT and AREA:ALT
Any time an img or area element is used to create a link, the alt attribute content should not describe the image but instead describe the target of the link. This text can be used by screen readers or rendered instead of the image by some graphical browsers to improve access to screen reader users and visually impaired users.