Ontario’s Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation (IASR) says that accessible formats of information must be provided upon request. On campus, these requests might come from students, faculty, staff, volunteers or visitors. This tip sheet offers advice for adding alternative text, or “alt text” as it is commonly called, when you or members of your department create printed materials in-house. Alt text focuses on the images, charts and/or graphs within your materials, and is part of the process of creating an accessible version of your Word document.
Alternative text (alt text) describes an image so that the user’s assistive technology may convey what information is being provided by the item. In situations where the image is not available to the reader, the alt text ensures no information or functionality is lost. For websites, documents and lecture presentations to be accessible, alt text must be assigned to all photos, images, multimedia, graphs, charts, text boxes, ClipArt, SmartArt, AutoShapes and WordArt.