I recently ran a session with some of our content developers covering alternative text, and the difference between alt text and captions. It seemed to be well received, so I thought I’d write it up.
“Text alternatives” is the first guideline of the first principle of WCAG 2.1. It’s literally the first thing to think about – and the reason why is pretty simple: not everyone can see images.
That may be because they have a vision disability. But it could also be because the image has been deleted, renamed or moved. Maybe their network connection is poor. Or their browser doesn’t support the format. Or they have disabled images in their email client because they have a 500MB monthly limit.
Whatever. It happens. Text alternatives are what users rely on when images are not available. Like this one right here:
The alternate text needs to replace the image. So your question becomes very definite:
What text do I need to provide if this image is not available? How might I describe the appearance, purpose, function, or meaning of this image to someone who can’t access it?
An accessible document is a document that people with a range of physical and cognitive impairments can read and understand.
An accessible document is, typically, also a document that people with no physical or cognitive impairments can read and understand better, and faster.
Also typically, an accessible document is easier for content authors to maintain. Because it uses tools that are baked in to Word and other MS Office applications to support accessibility and improve workflow.
So, here are some tips on creating accessible Word documents.
Heather Hepburn is the Accessibility Lead for Skyscanner and has been running their accessibility programme for just over a year.
Stéphanie Krus works as a Service Designer and is a member of the ‘Disability Positive’ group at Scottish Enterprise.
We ‘met’ virtually in October 2020 after a talk at the UCD Gathering from Heather Hepburn (Skyscanner) and Adi Latif (AbilityNet): “Digital Accessibility – How to get your organisation on the right track”
We realised we had a lot we could share regarding how we address and improve accessibility in our organisations. So we planned a knowledge sharing session which was held online on 27 January 2021 with about 20 people.
Thursday, May 21 2020, marks the ninth Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD). The purpose of GAAD is to get everyone talking, thinking and learning about digital access/inclusion and people with different disabilities.
The Digital team celebrated the day with a session opened to all the Scottish Enterprise staff.
To reach our audience, we need to do better to make sure everyone can access our posts on social media. We are planning to raise awareness within Scottish Enterprise of what needs to be done so that our communications are accessible.