Accessible Images and Multimedia

Image and Multimedia Tips

  1. For all images, ensure that you have sufficient alternative text or alt-text.
    • Alt-text should convey all the essential information conveyed by an image / the purposes of the image to someone who is unable to see the image;
    • It should not begin with "An image of...", "a picture of...". Simply provide a description of the image as presented; and,
    • If an image contains text that is imporant, ensure that the text is captured by the alt-text or otherwise available in text near by the image.
  2. Any videos posted to your site from YouTube or some other method should have captions available. Below are examples of commonly used tools for captioning videos:
  3. Avoid images of text.
    • When the image is zoomed to 200% or more, the text will become jagged and hard to read, text itself can be scaled cleanly to any size;
    • Search engines will not be able to find the text within the images so people will not be able to find your content; and,
    • If an image contains important text, always put the text from image in the alt-text for the benefit of sight-impared individuals.
  4. It is recommended that if you are using images in your content that will have text wrapping around them that you place the image to the right.
    • This will help some users with cognitive disabilities locate the start of the next line easier.


Alt-Text Example for Images

Consider figure 1. If the intended purpose of the image is...

  • ... to have an image depicting scientists purely for visual appeal.
    • The following alt-text would be appropriate: "Two scientists in discussion".
  • ... to show specific individuals or a specific focus.
    • The following would be appropriate: "From left-to-right: Eugenia Duodu and Patrick Gunning".
  • ... to show the actual contents of or the action within an image.
    • The following would be appropriate: "Professor Patrick Gunning and doctoral student Eugenia Duodo talking by a chemistry fume hood."
Two scientists in discussion
Figure 1