(a) A text equivalent for every non-text element shall
be provided (e.g., via "alt", "longdesc", or in element content).
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
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.
- Microsoft FrontPage: You will need to explicitly insert
the text alternative because you will not be prompted to do so.
- Select the image
- Right-click on the image and choose the "Picture Properties" option
- Provide the description in the "alternative representations" text
- 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.
- 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.
- Provide a hyperlink to a text transcript of audio files.
- 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!