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Cause if you like it, then you shoulda put “Alt-text” on it

Recently, a class action lawsuit claimed that Beyoncé’s official website violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (1990) by denying visually impaired users equal access to its products and services, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

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The proposed class – filed by New York resident Mary Conner, who is legally blind – argues that the website is “an exclusively visual interface” devoid of any coded ALT-text behind the images, thereby making the site inaccessible to her or millions of other fans who have visual impairments.

By adding ALT-text coding, authors are able to include and present visual content to visually impaired users in an accessible, text-based format through a screen-reader. “There are many important pictures on Beyonce.com that lack a text equivalent. … As a result, Plaintiff and blind Beyonce.com customers are unable to determine what is on the website, browse the website or investigate and/or make purchases,” writes Connor’s attorney, Dan Shaked.

Here are some best practices to consider, when it comes to Alt-text:

  • Describe the information, not the picture
  • Active images require descriptive Alt-text
  • Images that contain information require descriptive Alt-text
  • Decorative images should have empty Alt-text
  • Don’t include “Picture of” or “Image of” in the Alt-text
  • Keep it simple and short

By following these key points for Alt-text, it will keep you from hearing “No, No, No” and make people fall “Crazy in Love” with your site!

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