Alt tags are parameters associated with HTML image tags that provide a description of the image. They have been around for years. One of their main purposes is to provide text that can be read by screen readers used by those who are visually impaired. It looks like this:
<img src=”somefile.jpg” alt=”Description of image” />
It sounds like a great idea, and it is. But it’s one of those little details that is easy to overlook – especially if you’re in a hurry, trying to crank out a website.
But recent developments in the legal world have caused me, and anyone in my line of work, to realize that it is now more than just an add-on feature. It is a requirement. Because if you forget the alt tags…you might just find yourself subject of a lawsuit.
Example number one: a class action lawsuit has been filed against pop superstar Beyonce for violating the Americans with Disabilities Act because some images on her website, www.beyonce.com, lack alt tags.
Example number two: The retailer Target was sued by the National Federation of the Blind for lack of alt tags on images on its website.
Now, these are two deep pocket defendants with websites that get tons of traffic. Chances are your website doesn’t get as much traffic as Beyonce’s or Target’s. But still…is it worth the risk? My advice is to make it a practice to always use alt tags with the images on your website. I know I am!
Need help managing this type of thing to make sure you don’t run into trouble? Get in touch with us today and we’ll make sure everything is straight.