Like works of art in a gallery, the internet provides us with many forms of visual content. When presented with images with an element of cuteness, people are able to laugh and coo with ease. Whenever i browse the internet, i am forced to avoid such content as i can not see it. As i have posted on the blog before, i am blind. This means that i can not see much of anything, especially images or video footage on a screen. There is hope however, in the form of something not many people know about.
What is this hope you speak of?
The hope i talk about is alt text. Alt text is a short piece of text that describes an image. In the image below, viewers of the blog will see a dog laying on a bed. If i did not give this description of the image at this point, my blind readers would be unaware of what this image contains.
Meet my dog Tira.
Not only does alt text provide insight into images for the blind, it also acts as an image replacement on websites viewed on slow internet connections. Alt text also has benefits for SEO (Search Engine Optimisation.) When you add alt text to your images, you’re providing search engines more opportunities for your posts to appear in search results. I’m no SEO expert, but this is what I have discovered on my search for information and guides on alt text.
How can i make my images readable you ask?
On all platforms, there are different ways alt text can be implemented. Here is how i myself add alt text to my images here on the blog. As i write my posts in the wordpress app for iPad, my steps will be based off that, but it should be the same regardless of the platform used for wordpress.
Step 1. Tap the insert media button.
Step 2. Select the image.
Step 3. On the same line as the image, write the description. Below is an example.
Meet me! This photo was taken by a friend of mine who is also blind. In this picture, I am standing in front of an off-white wall. It is late summer, so the clothes I am wearing (a black and white patterned dress covered with a light, white and orange flowered kimono) reflect the warmth of the season. My hair is hanging around my face, loosely tucked behind my ears. My head is tilted up towards the camera and a serene smile graces my face.
Here are links to alt text guides for the most common social networks and a guide from wordpress as well.
The guide from Facebook can be found Here.
Here is a handy Guide from WP Beginner.
Twitter has created This page on alt text.
I hope this post has provided some useful information. If you are unsure about the accessibility of your blog or or website, i am happy to answer any questions.
As always, happy reading and more importantly, happy blogging.