Accessibility Matters: Alt Text

We are learning about alt text and would like to share what we've found so far! Alt text is something you need to be aware of if you:

  • create digital documents
  • post to social media
  • post content to a website
  • are a web developer
  • are a graphic designer


Alt text describes an image on a screen using assistive technology such as a screen reader.


· People who are blind or visually impaired
· People who use screen magnification (the complete image cannot be viewed)
· People with certain types of cognitive issues who may not understand the purpose of an image


1. Add alt text to all informative images.

Ask yourself, "If this image was removed, would the text still make sense?" When an image adds useful information to the content or context of a page, then that image is informative and requires alt text.

2. Keep it short and descriptive.

Include all specific and important details, but be succinct. Long image descriptions that contain irrelevant details take a long time to read aloud. This can be a barrier for assistive technology users.

3. Omit phrases such as “image of” or “photo of”.

Screen readers automatically announce an image as an image. The alt text “Image of an apple” would be read aloud by a screen reader as “Image: Image of an apple”.

4. Leave alt text blank if the image is decorative.

Not all images need alt text. If the meaning of the text does not change when an image is removed, it is probably decorative and does not require alt text.

Source: Tyke, Holly. "Avoid these common alt-text mistakes." The Big Hack, Aug 2021


Recent Posts

February 20, 2023 is Heritage Day in Nova Scotia and this year's honouree is Rita Joe.

Elder Rita (Bernard) Joe was a member of the We’koqma’q Mi’kmaq Community and published author. Her ...

Happy Family Literacy Day 2023!

Family Literacy Day is an annual initiative that raises awareness of the importance of learning together as a family. 

This year’s theme is "Celebrate...

October is Canadian Library Month! All month long, libraries and library partners across Canada are raising awareness of the valuable role libraries play in Canadians’ lives. Established in 2006...

New Adult Fiction Books

Featured Services

Support the Library

The Library is a hub of knowledge, culture, and communication. Your loyalty and support enriches our service to you. The ongoing support of patrons like you determines what the Library is today and what it will be in the years to come.

Learn how you can help!

Find Your Branch