The Importance of Alternative Text in Web Accessibility

[Approximate Reading Time : 4 mins]

Adding alternative text for non-text content is one of the most important principles of accessibility on the internet. Alt text helps users with low vision and blindness understand what images are being displayed. According to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0, text alternatives should be available in braille, large print, symbols, speech or simpler language.

Implementing Alternative Text

Proper implementation of alternative text is crucial because many digital publications have images with missing or incorrect tags. In fact, only 3.09 percent of pictures on Reddit have complete alt tags. This means image-based content on many websites is almost completely inaccessible to those with vision impairment.

The purpose of text alternatives is to help users understand the message conveyed by images. Your alt tags should contain the message you want to tell through the image. If the image includes text, you should also include that in the alt tags. The only exception is when images are used for decorative purposes only. Don’t add alt text to purely decorative images, so you don’t distract users from more important content.

Making Your Publications More Accessible

Empty or confusing alt tags make consuming content a frustrating experience for individuals with visual impairments. Amnet Systems can add alt text to your images in accordance with WCAG 2.0.

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