You know how sometimes you let a question linger in the background until one day you decide to just deal with it? This is one of those questions that rose to the top because I knew that I should know the answer definitively before the MCC Math & Technology Workshop started.
Here’s the question: If you’re making a hyperlink and you leave the title or alternate tag blank, will the text-to-speech readers automatically just default to the text you’ve linked to? For example, suppose your hyperlink is on the words “brief twitter guide”. Without any extra tagging, will this get read aloud as “brief twitter guide” or do I have to retype it into the secondary tags? Obviously, creating a hyperlink to text like “click here” would really suck for visually impaired users unless you included alternate titles and alternate text. So the question is really whether the alternate or title tags are redundant when you already have good hyperlink practices.
The answer (from @suburbanlion) is that it is just redundant. If the original hyperlink is descriptive in the same way the alt tag would be, there is no need to do both. He provided me with a great resource to check on these types of issues, Dive into Accessibility (Day 14 covers adding titles to links), although it is a little old.