Legal requirement

image of a young boy sat down with a small dogYour website needs to meet the requirements for accessibility so that everyone can have access to your website. We can often take for granted the internet and how easy it is to access visual information, but have you thought about how blind users and those with visual impairments will access your website?

Visually impaired users will use screenreader software that will read out aloud the contents of a webpage to the user including any links on the web page. The user can use the screenreader to navigate around the site using the links that are spoken out aloud by the screenreader.

To help visually impaired users there are various things that your website must include to work with screenreaders and ensure that everyone can access your site:


When you add an image to your website, the screenreader will not be able to describe what the image is to a blind user without help. This is why it is important that every image used on your site has a description called ALTERNATIVE TEXT.

The alternative text should just be a short description about what the image contains so that the screen reader software can read this out and a visually impaired user can then know what the image on the page is.
The images on the right show what the alternative text could be for some example images.

If you are writing your website using HTML then you should add the following code to your image:
ALT=”alternative text goes here” ie :

< img src="/images/office.jpg" alt="Office  Building" >

The only exception to having an alt text is if the image is part of your visual website design and will not provide any added value to a blind user. In this case the alternative text should be blank ie:

< img src="/images/corner.jpg" alt="" >

Website images
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