One of the most common issues identified by Ally is that images do not have alternative text associated with them. This text is ‘read’ by assistive technology designed to help users to access computers and the information they display in a way which meets their individual needs. Adding alternative text or Alt Text is important because:
For students with visual impairments, image descriptions that explain the content of an image are crucial for their learning. For all students, text descriptions can provide deeper context to aid their comprehension. (Ally, 2019).
How do I add alternative descriptions to my images?
- Learn how to write effective image descriptions as part of this free online course
- View this guide to add alternative text to an image in MS Office Word, PowerPoint and Excel
- View this guide to add alternative text to an image in Course Resources (Blackboard)
What if my images are decorative?
If your image is decorative then the recommendations is to add alternative text which says Decorative. This way the tools which will help guide you to pick up errors will ignore these and it will be clear to students that they can ignore these images.
Within Course Resources however, it provides the ability to mark these as decorative so again, they can easily be ignored.
Author: Laura Hollinshead (Learning Technologist-Curriculum Devt)