Alternative Text

Alternative Text

Access for All eNewsletter

Alternative Text in Documents

Not all users can see images. Many people use assistive technology like screen readers or text-to-speech software which reads the page out loud, and this software will read the alternative text instead of the image. Alternative text can also be used when a user has images turned off. The image will be replaced with alternative text.

Adding an image or a graphic to your content without using proper or empty alternative attributes (alt tags), can be extremely frustrating for people with visual impairments navigating your site through assistive technologies.

Different assistive devices used in a public setting

Adding alternative text for images is the first principle of web accessibility. It is also one of the most difficult to properly implement. Alternative text conveys the content and functionality of an image. It is very rarely a description of what the image looks like. When authoring alternative text, consider what the core information presented by the image is. Asking the question, "If you could not use the image, what text would you use to replace it?" is often a good test to determine appropriate alternative text.

When using image alt text, it should not include “picture of” or “image of”.

red apple illustration

Screen readers automatically announce an image as an image. So an alternative text “Image of an apple” would be read aloud by a screen reader as “image, Image of an apple”.


ABLE Tech Device Exchange and Reuse Programs

Did you know that items can be purchased or given to others through the ABLE Tech Device Exchange or Reuse Programs? The items vary based on availability.
ABLE Tech Exchange Program - Available Items
ABLE Tech Reuse Program - Available Items

Phone: 405.523.4810 or 833.431.9706
Email: atreuse@okstate.edu