Web Accessibility

(a) A text equivalent for every non-text element shall be provided (e.g., via "alt", "longdesc", or in element content).

WSU Information

When considering use of images, audio and video content, first ask yourself these questions: "What is the purpose of this visual content? How important is the visual content to the meaning of the page/site? How can I convey the information presented in the visual or auditory content for those who aren't able to see, read or hear it?"

If the visual content provides no clear advantage or meaning, consider omitting it. The benefit of the content or function of the image should outweigh the inconvenience of additional download time. If the content provides a clear advantage, be sure to make it accessible using the following guidelines.

  1. Microsoft FrontPage: You will need to explicitly insert the text alternative because you will not be prompted to do so.
    1. Select the image
    2. Right-click on the image and choose the "Picture Properties" option
    3. Provide the description in the  "alternative representations" text window

  2. Use simple words to describe the function of graphical elements rather than describing the appearance. 

    Use the word "bullet" to describe an image that precedes list items 

    <img src="green_ball.gif" alt="bullet" width="9" height="9"> 

    Use the words "page divider" or "separator" to describe an image which separates portions of your page.
  3. Provide a hyperlink to a text transcript of any video-only content (not accompanied by an audio track). The Office of Disability Services can provide a list of names of audio describers who are trained to provide a text description of visual images. 
  4. Provide a hyperlink to a text transcript of audio files. 
  5. According to 503 Standards, "The types of non-text elements requiring actual text descriptions are limited to those elements that provide information required for comprehension of content or those used to facilitate navigation. Web page authors often utilize transparent graphics for spacing. Adding a text description to these elements will produce unnecessary clutter for users of screen readers. For such graphics, an empty ALT attribute is useful."

    Example of source code: <IMG src="transparent.gif" alt=""> 

    Note: Do not leave a blank space between the double quotes!


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Last updated: Tue. Jan-10-06, 16:46
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