Today’s brickbat has been thoroughly earned by clicktivist campaign group GetUp! with their latest email campaign. The information about the campaign was conveyed as a series of images of text.
The alt tags to the images were as follows:
“Try turning on images”
If you are a GetUp! subscriber who can’t see, that information was what your screen reader would read to you. This is very obviously poor practice, it goes against all documented and long-standing guidelines on how to use alt text, and (leaving aside all the other reasons someone might have images off) it is a giant middle-finger “screw-you” to your blind subscribers.
I have a few suggestions:
* If you’re going to get a job in social media activism, go learn about accessibility. W3C’s Intro to Web Accessibility is one place to start. It could save you from showing your arse.
* GetUp!: make knowledge about accessibility part of your job application criteria, and deepening of that knowledge part of your training process.
* GetUp!: when your email list subscribers send you email about an accessibility issue, and post on your Facebook wall about an accessibility issue, don’t studiously ignore them. This compounds your arse-showing mightily.
* Other people involved in any sort of blogging and social media: take a moment to learn about describing images, either in alt text or (for example on FB and tumblr) in the body of your post. Always think before sharing text as images, and if you do end up doing that, please copy-paste or transcribe the entire text for those who cannot see the image.