On Thu, Mar 17, 2016 at 4:39 PM, Erica FINDLEY <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Good evening,
> We are currently experiencing a dilemma with alt tags in our digital
> We would like to include alt tags to be in compliance with accessibility
> When looking at an item detail page
> <https://gallery.multcolib.org/image/widmer-kegs-trailer>, there is a lot
> of surrounding metadata to help visualize the image, but on our search
> results <https://gallery.multcolib.org/search/site> pages, that detail is
> not present. Currently a screen reader is not reading the titles of the
> images on our search results page.
> We are able to add alt tags to the image to help with this. Our dilemma is
> what those tags should be so they are not redundant of either the title or
> description metadata, but still helpful.
Short answer: Give Talking Books and Braille Services at the Oregon State
Library or the Disability Resource Center at PSU a buzz. Either of those
outfits can hook you up. You need specific advice about how your site can
deliver the best service for blind people rather than general accessibility
Longer answer : As someone who worked and lived with blind people for a
number of years, my personal reactions when I viewed the site with my eyes
rather than a screen reader were the following:
- If screen readers don't read the title, it's good idea to figure out
why and address that. Screen readers can be thought of like browsers -- you
need to make sure the most popular ones work with your site.
Once the title is properly read, put in a blank alt so blind patrons
don't get slowed down by an element that does nothing for them and connects
them to a viewer they can't use. If they want the image, there is already a
clearly marked download button.
Accessibility guidelines say to put in alt, but blind people I've known
tell me adding useless elements that slow things down and interrupt the
flow is worse than doing nothing. If the title is read and they can
download the image, the function of the alt for that picture is already
- If you can't figure out how to make the title visible to major screen
readers, put the title in the alt. It will be obvious, help with search
engine optimization, and it doesn't cause problems for other users.
- I would definitely talk to a couple blind people to get their
reactions. Photographs are inherently visual, and understanding how they
might use this site is critical to improving it. Blind people do a lot of
things sighted people don't imagine they would, but there are other things
make no sense for them. For example, finding blind people who love movies
and TV is easy, but I have yet to meet one that enjoyed cartoons because
the medium is inherently visual and the sound makes no sense.