Accessibility Tip of the Week: Be mindful of images containing text

Princeton open house flyer. All event details, including location, attendees and time are included within the image.This week Robert Hardy, our district website accessibility specialist, shares about being mindful of images containing text. Please call Robert with any accessibility questions at Ext. 6105. He is more than happy to talk by phone or schedule a time to meet with you.

When producing content for the web, it is important to be mindful of images containing text, such as event flyers. These images can present a challenge for accessibility, as the text contained within them is not ‘true text’, but is actually part of a rendered image. This practice effectively locks away much of the content for those who rely on assistive technology such as screen magnifiers or screen readers.

To test if your content is locked away in an image, try selecting the text with your mouse or keyboard. If you cannot select it, it is locked away and must be presented in an alternative format.

For shorter content, adding the text to the alternative text tag for the image should be sufficient. Steps on creating these tags are included on the Website Accessibility Resources page.

While this may work well for short pieces of content, longer documents, such as the flyer below, require more space than an alternative text tag would allow. In these cases, the relevant content should be placed in the copy alongside the image.

This practice not only improves the accessibility of your document, but also has the added benefit of improving the likelihood of your content appearing in search engines such as Google. Search engines are, after all, advanced screen readers!

As always, if you have any accessibility tips or questions, please reach out to Robert Hardy (6105).