Individuals who are blind or who have trouble processing visual information, typically use a screen reader. This is an application that reads the contents of the webpage to them. These tools can recognize an image but can’t tell the user anything about it. It is your job when you create content to tell the screen reader what is important in the image. In Facebook posts, that may be a short description like “small cat stuck in cardboard box” but it is often the text that you have posted within an image.
If you are advertising events and your organization using posts created by tools like Canva, which lay text over a background image, over 2 million potential viewers can’t read it. This is easy to fix.
Step 1: Select Edit Photo
You can select Edit Photo by hovering over the image or tabbing through it using your keyboard.
Step 2: Select Alt text from the menu on the left
Step 3: Override the generated alt text
Facebook attempts to generate alternative text for images in posts. As you can see from this one, where the alt text is the word “text” it often fails. To create your own alternative text, you should click the Override generated alt text button.
Step 4: Enter New Alternative Text
Enter new alternative text. There is a lot of text on this image but almost all of it is important. You can break it apart so that you have some text in your main post and then only include the text that is not there in the image alt text. I’ve chosen to include all of the text on the image:
“Accessible Escape Room. Attending CSUN? Will you be near Anaheim, VA March 9-13? Would you like to try an accessible escape room? Sign up at accessibleescaperoom.org. Times: Tuesday March 10th 8-5, Friday March 13th 8-11, Wed-Thurs Evenings by Request Only.”
You may get a warning that alt text is usually less 100 characters long. While that is a great rule of thumb and you want to be concise, it is more important to include the key information.
Step 5: Save the Image