Accessibility and inclusion: Accessible image checklist

Web accessibility has always been a requirement for UMaine websites, and has been a regular feature in our monthly newsletter. Ensuring your content is accessible is part of an inclusive communication strategy.

Using photos and infographics is a great way to inject visual interest into your web content. Web accessibility guidelines recognize this, and give guidance for how to add visual elements in a manner that will ensure you are effectively communicating to all of your audience, even those who may need a visual accommodation.

Below are handy checklists for images in general and specific considerations when adding more complex images such as charts, graphs, and infographics.

Accessible image checklist

  • Add descriptive or alternative text to images unless purely decorative – remember to keep the alt text under 150 characters and only to include essential information. Do not use the word “image” – instead describe the type of image: graphic, illustration, photograph, logo. Logos need only to be indicated as present and not described.

  • Check color contrast guidelines and use color pairings that are different enough in color contrast value

Informational image / infographic image checklist

  • The information is presented in writing as well as in image, and the user knows where to find the information in writing

  • The alternative text of the image uses the title of the information and reflects where the user can find the information in writing

  • If a conclusion can be made about the data, the conclusion is also included in writing (exception: in a learning environment when a learner needs to make conclusions about the data themselves)

  • Multiple data sets conveyed with color pass color contrast ratio requirements

  • If more than three data sets are being used, information conveyed with color also uses texture or shape in addition to the color (information is not being conveyed solely with color)