Photos and images on websites and in documents can visually enhance the aesthetic appeal and also provide key information.

But when using images, we need to be certain that we are not conveying critical information that a person with a disability would not be able to access.

Alt Text

Whether on a website, in a document or on a social media platform, all images should include alternative text.

Alternative text, also known as an alt tag or alt text, gives someone with impaired vision additional context about the image on the screen. In your alt text, describe what is going on or what action might be taken here. Give enough detail that your description adds information to the content section the image represents.

Learn how to write helpful alt text.

Text on Images

Text should rarely, if ever, be added within an image but rather added below as a caption. From an accessibility perspective, screen readers cannot determine if there is text on an image, so those using those assistive devices would miss out on the image's content.

In addition, many websites are viewed on mobile devices. With smaller screen sizes, embedded text on images is hard to read.

If text is required to be built into the image—such as a chart—make sure you either provide proper alt text or write out an explanation of what your image says below the image, either as a caption or within the copy of your document/website.

Using Quality Images

“Good” images have certain qualities that help everyone, even those without visual impairments, understand the intended message.

You should typically avoid enlarging or sizing an image up from its original resolution for web purposes. To maintain image clarity, size an image down from a higher resolution to a smaller resolution to fit the required size.

Images should have enough contrast that those with slight visual impairment can distinguish the important elements. Too much or too little contrast can make an image difficult to view for any user. Learn about proper color contrast.