Accessibility and inclusion: a reminder about alternative (alt) text
Web accessibility has always been a requirement for UMaine websites, and has been a regular feature in our monthly newsletter. Ensuring your content is accessible is part of an inclusive communication strategy.
This month, we revisit the topic of alt text.
What is “alt text”?
Alt text is an alternative description for an image on your website. Visitors who rely on assistive technology such as screen readers cannot see these images. When the page is read aloud the image will be denoted as “image” in the audio. Without alt text, the visitor misses out on the information that you intended to convey with an image.
The most frequent visitor to your website that relies on alt text is likely Google and other search engines. Search engines do not see with eyes, and so they rely on the non-visual content of your web page in order to characterize it for search. Because of this, proper alt text on images is helpful both to your visitors and your website’s appearance in search (especially Google Images).