Web guidelines for content editors: Alternative text for images

Alternative text (sometimes just called “alt text”) is the simplest¬†way to improve¬†accessibility to your pages that contain images. Alt text is meant to replace images – not augment them. It is utilized by people who either cannot see your page or have low-vision such that the alt text replaces or attempts to describe what is being shown in the image.

From WebAIM:

Alternative text serves several functions:

  • It is read by screen readers in place of images allowing the content and function of the image to be accessible to those with visual or certain cognitive disabilities.
  • It is displayed in place of the image in browsers if the image file is not loaded or when the user has chosen not to view images.
  • It provides a semantic meaning and description to images which can be read by search engines or be used to later determine the content of the image from page context alone.