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Neighborhood Involvement

Building inclusive, safe and livable neighborhoods and communities.

ONI Main: 503-823-4519

City/County Info: 503-823-4000

TDD: 503-823-6868

1221 SW 4th Ave, Suite 110, Portland, OR 97204

May Access Tip of the Month: Image Descriptions

May: Image Descriptions

Add an image description to your documents to enhance access to your information.

Adding a brief image description below the logos makes them accessible to people who use screen reading software, people who may need support to process images AND people whose email software does not display images.

It can be as simple as this:

*Office of Neighborhood Involvement logo*

The stars are important because it cues the screen reader user that this is separate from general text. Also, you may have come across the advice to add alt-text to images in the past. This isn’t as widely recommended because some software cannot access alt-text. Plus, learning theory shows that having a description reinforcing an image will support everyone to process it more fully.

Here’s an article that explains things in a bit more detail:

http://hubpages.com/art/Image-Descriptions-And-How-To-Write-Them

Another great post from Tumblr on creating image descriptions: http://livingwithdisability.tumblr.com/post/124066767358/all-about-image-descriptions

Pro-tip: Don’t forget to describe the amazing and mundane photos you or your organization post on Facebook and other forms of social media. Reading a post that says “So beautiful,” Or “Can you believe it?!”  or and not being able to know what or who the post is referring to can be incredibly frustrating. This goes double for organizations that post critical information or events on social media.

With an image description, all your Facebook friends can truly stay in the loop. Also, be cautious about technology that promises to describe images for you. Read more about Facebook image accessibility here: https://medium.com/disability-stories/beyond-access-facebooks-automated-image-descriptions-and-disability-justice-5e27698a2fa3