Accessibility Awareness: Alt-Text For images

Video Transcript
[Narrator, Tim Yang]
By using alternative text or images will be more accessible.
For example, can you visualize this figure without any context?
What about now?
A center circle with five smaller circles connected to it?
The center circle is labeled scientific methods.
One circle labeled observation, and the other four circles are labeled a, b, c, and d.
Adding alt text gives context to images for users with visual disabilities.
Always add alt text to create inclusive content.
For more information, go to

Alt Text Video is hosted on Illinois Media Space and was created by Tim Yang as part of the Illinois Lighthouse Project.

Alternate text is a phrase, sentence, or combination of these associated with a particular non-text element. In academics, non-text elements are going to appear frequently, and adding Alternative Text makes this content easier to understand for all, including those with cognitive and learning disabilities.

How to Use This Video

  • Instructors might include this video as a part of a course and ask students to come up with alt text to various types of images
  • Individuals might use this video to raise awareness in their department for a disability awareness event.
  • Presenters might use this video as a part of their accessibility training.


Accessible images are beneficial in many situations, such as:

  • People using assistive technology such as screen readers: The text alternative can be read aloud or rendered as Braille
  • People using speech input software: Users can put the focus onto a button or linked image with a single voice command
  • People browsing speech-enabled websites: The text alternative can be read aloud
  • Mobile web users: Images can be turned off, especially for data-roaming
  • Search engine optimization: Images become indexable by search engines


H37: Using alt attributes on img elements:

When using the img element, specify a short text alternative with the alt attribute. Note. The value of this attribute is referred to as “alt text”. When an image contains words that are important to understanding the content, the alt text should include those words. This will allow the alt text to play the same function on the page as the image. Note that it does not necessarily describe the visual characteristics of the image itself but must convey the same meaning as the image.

More Information

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