100% More Accessibility in One Easy Step

Are you reading this article on your smart device or computer with perfect use of your eyes, ears, and fingers? That’s great if you are, but did you know almost 10% of your readers, on average, may not be?

A quick disclaimer: This post is meant to be purely constructive in every way. I wanted to talk about this because I see an opportunity to help. The anime blogging community here is one of the most inclusive that I’ve seen, but we can be even better.

Web accessibility is a big deal these days. With the ever growing use of technology in our lives, it’s becoming more essential that content is presented in a way that that allows everyone to access it. It’s such a big deal that there are government requirements (WCAG) for businesses to make their web pages accessible for blind, deaf, or motor impaired users.

Of course, most of you reading this are probably WordPress content creators, which is a fancy way to say you write your own blogs. There’s no one standing over you to make sure your pages are accessible, or forcing you to do things in a certain way. All of that is entirely up to you.

But if it was easy for you to make your page more accessible for a reader who would otherwise have trouble with it, wouldn’t you want to?

WordPress has a whole lot of tips on how to make your pages more accessible. You can find them here, but today I want to share a simple tip that takes mere seconds of your time but will make a big difference.

Say you found the perfect image for a post. It’s funny, and it illustrates your point.

Mirai from Kyokai no Kanata furiously tapping on her phone

If you don’t add descriptive text though, this is what a viewer using a screen reader gets:

 A black box with the text mirai_blog.gif in the middle

The good news is that adding descriptive text is super easy. If you’re using the WordPress interface to insert a picture, there’s a field set up for you to do just that:

Image of the insert window showing an arrow pointing to the Alt Text field

Is it hard for you to read the text? I bet you wish you had some help now 🙂

Fortunately, I can give you a closer look:

That’s just a bare bones description I used so it would visually fit in the box, but you can make this as descriptive as you like. eg: A girl with red frame glasses, Mirai from Kyokai no Kanata, taps furiously on her phone while complaining “All I can do is whine on my blog!”

Once you enter the text you want, hit insert and voila! you’ve made your image 100% more accessible!

There are countless blogs that don’t have alt text for their images, and usually it’s because the blogger isn’t familiar with the tools available.

But maybe you know this tip already, yet don’t feel like it’s worthwhile. Maybe you feel like your images are only useful for someone who can see them without descriptions. That could be the case, but how about letting your reader decide that for themselves instead of you deciding for them? 

I hope that everyone who reads this is either already using descriptive text or will try it on their next blog post. I’m sure you will agree the more “eyes” you get on your posts, the better.

Are there any quick and easy tips you use on your blogs to make them easier to enjoy? Leave a comment and let everyone know!

24 thoughts on “100% More Accessibility in One Easy Step

Add yours

  1. Thank you for posting this! Accessibility is something I don’t think about as often as I should, and I am one of the bloggers who didn’t realize these options were available. I’m glad you showed the example alt text, because I’d never thought of it as an accessibility option before (just something that was sort of like an easter egg on a webpage).

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yep! A screen reader will read the alt text for an image, but if you don’t provide one it will just read the file name which most of the time is unhelpful.

      I’m glad this was useful for you 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I greatly appreciate this post 😀 I think its a lot of fun coming up with the alt text descriptions too, but on a selfish note it’s really nice knowing what the pictures are haha.

    A lot of people already use headings in their posts, but I figured I’d add if you have long posts headings are a great accessibility tool also since screen readers have a “jump to heading” feature!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I’m glad you liked it. It’s not selfish of you at all to want to know about a picture. Don’t you think everyone should get a chance to know what’s on the page they’re reading?

      Do you mean like the Heading1, Heading2 size controls for text? That’s pretty cool. I don’t have any headings in this post but I usually do in my reviews (as you know those are super long). Thanks for the tip, Crystal!

      I had been meaning to post something like this for a while, but we recently had a training at work about WCAG and I was like err why am I putting this off?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I have never known about this option, but I also did not know that pictures become in accessable if you don’t add descriptive text to them. This post was very useful. Am definitely going to try this out on my next blog post 😊 Thanks for posting this 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks for sharing this. I knew you could add descriptive text but I didn’t know why, though if I’d thought about it I probably could have figured it out. Really appreciate this tip.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Haha, yeah I suppose you could have, but this isn’t something that’s always at the forefront of people’s minds so it’s understandable.

      You have a much larger following than most of us, so I’m sure your readers will find it helpful if you pick up this practice.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Just want you to know, your thoughtfulness is truly touching. This is an excellent point that everyone should be aware of. Thank you for this. I love you 😉

    Liked by 4 people

  6. I wasn’t really aware of this option in the past or what it could be used for. This has been a super interesting and informative post! I’ll definitely take the time to add some descriptions to my images in the future (and perhaps even retroactively edit previous posts). It’s amazing how tiny things can make a big difference for people.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Right? Thinking about accessibility doesn’t always come naturally when you’re not facing a problem yourself, and being really good with it requires you to get familiar with many tools. Still, there’s little things like this too that can really help out.

      Looking forward to some fun descriptions from you 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, D! Captions certainly help but there’s only so much you can put there to describe the image.

      I worried I was getting a little preachy there. I just wanted people to understand that this is a concern that most of the time is being unknowingly ignored.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. This is quite useful. What I usually do is when I add a picture, ( from Google for example ) is press on the image itself and a speech bubble appears letting you write the caption underneath the image. It’s quick but technical glitches do occur on my mine but in a different manner.

    I was sent a link to your post by a fellow blogger friend (Raistlin). I also love to watch various anime but I still have a lot to catch up on. A nice blog you have here. ☺

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for stopping by! I’m glad that this tip was useful for you. Captions certainly help, though I usually use them for flavor instead of image descriptions, but thank you for sharing that tip.

      I’m happy to hear raistlin shared this! I know many people read his blog every day so I hope you and others will try this on your own blogs as well.

      And thank you very much for the compliment. I think I will enjoy some of the movie articles you wrote on yours as well.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. You’re welcome. Glad to have come across it. And I agree, I normally use captions to add a bit of quirkiness and humour to an image myself.

    I hope you find some of my posts entertaining. ☺

    Liked by 1 person

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