Add Alternative Text Descriptions for Complex Images

Posted: June 7, 2020 at 1:31 pm

Alternative text descriptions for complex images convey meaningful information to students with visual impairments who use screen readers.


Why is this important?

Screen reading applications do not interpret visual data. For that reason, it is important to provide alternative text descriptions for any content where the visual imagery is critical to understanding its meaning.

In Blackboard, do the following:

First, click the insert image icon in the content editor and then add your alternative text descriptions in the image description field.

insert image

adding image description field in blackboard
What about decorative images?

Decorative images convey no meaningful information to the end user. They should be marked as such to ensure that screen reading applications skip them when reading through the course site.

To mark an image as decorative in Blackboard, do the following:

  • First, repeat the steps listed above. Instead of adding an image description, leave the image description field blank. Click Insert.  (PLEASE NOTE: You will be warned about inserting the image without adding an alternative text description. Click OK.)

alt text image warning

  • Click the HTML icon in the content editor.

HTML button in content editor

  • Once the HTML code view window opens, identify the tag corresponding to your image.
  • Next add alt=”” in the code. Close the HTML code view window and click the Submit button.


blank alt tag

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