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Why it Matters
Alternative (Alt) Text is meant to convey the “why” of the image as it relates to the content of a document or webpage. It is read aloud to users by screen reader software, and it is indexed by search engines. It also displays on the page if the image fails to load, as in this example of a missing image.
Resources for Accessible Images
Diagram Center: Making Images Accessible
Image description is often the easiest and fastest way to provide information about an image to a reader who cannot access it visually. Below are resources developed by the DIAGRAM Center to help content creators provide image descriptions.
Description Templates for Common Graphics
Provides image description templates for common types of graphics, based on the NCAM STEM description guidelines. Image describers respond to questions regarding the basic characteristics of a diagram, and are guided through a fill-in-the-blanks process, which generates the first paragraph of an image description.
Guidelines for Writing alt-tags for Images
This guide provides information on how to write good alt-tags for images.
NWEA’s Image Description Guidelines for Assessments
Covers extended image description design considerations for creating image descriptions that don’t bias a reader to a particular answer, are complete enough to allow a student to answer the related question or homework problem.
How To: Writing alt-tags for Images
This section covers how to make images accessible. Topics include writing ALT text as well as working with complex images such as maps, graphs and equations. Many techniques for providing additional image descriptions for complex images can also benefit sighted students.
This article provides a good overview on writing alt-tags for images. Alternative text provides a textual alternative to non-text content in web pages.
WC3 alt-tag Decision Tree
his decision tree describes how to use the alt attribute of the
element in various situations. For some types of images, there are alternative approaches, such as using CSS background images for decorative images or web fonts instead of images of text.