CP 6 - For all images, specify alternative text to convey equivalent information

When images are unavailable (e.g. Turned off or because the user may have a visual impairment) equivalent information must be supplied.

It is your responsibility as a content provider to specify what the alternative text should be. This may be by entering this information into your content management system, templates or by passing the information over to the person who publishes the content to the web.

  • Specify alternative text (also known as 'alt' text) for every image.
  • Alt text should serve the same purpose and convey the same meaning as the image:
    • If the image is purely decorative and has no informational content then specify NULL alt text oralt="" (no spaces);
    • If your image is a link, use the destination or function;
    • If the image contains words, make sure the full message of the words is in the alt text (although avoid using images of words (see CP 8) - use real text instead).
  • Avoid adding extra meaningless alt text:
    • "image of...", "this is an image of...";
    • "link to...", "this is a link to...".

Tip: Pretend to read the page out over the phone. What does each image have to say to give the same meaning? Use that as the alt text.

Image of a symbol with alt text 'email us' not a description of the symbol. Image of a house with correct alt text Home page NOT picture of house  portant paragraph of text with alt text just = important notice. It should have the full text

If using images as bullet points then use a * as the alt text (but avoid doing this by coding them as lists!)