How is your Image? My Guide to Alternative Text
We all know images are important, right? They break up the text, make blogs look more appealing. But what if you can’t see the image? What if you can’t see?
My friend Sassy over at Thinking Out Loud was the first to draw my attention to this little problem. She has written a brilliant post about being indirectly discriminated against. Basically by not including a descriptive messages of what your picture looks like you are indirectly discriminating against the visually impaired.
I thought that it was worthy of another post to highlight its importance. Not only is it important for the visually impaired but it also helps with your SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). Thumbs up all round I say.
My blogging community, are you looking after your images?
Alt Text aka Alternative Text
Alt text is the text hidden in the background of an image. When you take a picture your camera saves it as something for example img1234. If you don’t use alt text on your blog this is generally the text that is saved. It gives screen readers no idea what is on the picture. Leaving the visually impaired clueless as to the subject matter.
Here are a few guides to help you add Alt Text into your blog:
I had always known about adding Alt text to images on my own blog but I didn’t know about adding them on Twitter. To do this you have to change your accessibility settings in the Twitter settings itself. I am going to assume you will be able to work this bit out…
On a web page for Twitter it is in the settings under Accessibility
On a phone (Iphone) Settings in the cog on your profile page : Display and Sound : Accessibility
Select the option to Compose image descriptions .
When you post an image on Twitter now you get a little black box saying “add description”:
But I don’t have time!
It’s very easy to say I don’t have time to do something. I don’t have time to exercise, I don’t have time to eat, I don’t have time to hoover… I really don’t have time to hoover. You could say you don’t have time to insert a text description. Make time. I’ve been doing this for the past six months and I am not slowed down at all, it takes a minute at most to make sure they description is added to my blog post.
Are you going to change?
It’s only a small guide I am afraid and wish that there was more information out there about this out there. I am pretty sure Facebook and YouTube have ways to add in a descriptive text but I can’t find it, If you do know then let me know.
Do you already love your Alt Text? Will you start using it now you know about it?