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Alt Text and Diversity Language


From: deborah.kaplan@suberic.net
Date: Jun 19, 2012 5:53PM

On Tue, 19 Jun 2012, Kearns, Taylor M (DHS) wrote:

> Background: As someone who is a hack photographer, I believe that photos provide a great deal of information and meaning. In our ELearning modules, we have photos of people with various cultural backgrounds that we want conveyed to the learner.

Making a point of including people of a variety of backgrounds is an admirable goal to remedy a problem which is (in this case, at least) only a problem for sighted users: the fact that the default individual depicted in advertising or decorative images is white, male, Western, and able-bodied. Those who don't see the images are never infected with this pernicious false norm (at least, not through stock photography), and therefore don't need the corrective. Unless the rest of your alternative text says "White man who is apparently able-bodied holding a glass of milk" then there's no need for the alternative images to say "Latina sitting in a wheelchair holding a hamburger."

Accessibility Project Co-Lead
Dreamwidth Studios