Adventures in alt text
Wednesday, April 5th: 12:15pm - 1:00pm
Michelle PadillaDigital Content Strategist @ Amon Carter Museum of American Art
How-to Session Abstract
Alternative, or alt, text and web accessibility have been hot topics in the news for the last several years. As part of our museum’s DEAI initiatives, we wanted to make our online experience as accessible as possible, not just meet the minimum requirements set by ADA and WCAG. This How-To session will outline our journey to add alt text to our online collection.
Our collection and archive include more than 70,000 objects that are online, in addition to marketing images, icons, graphics, and logos. In early 2022, the museum’s Digital Content Strategist and Manager of Access Programs and Resources began researching, writing, and planning for the inclusion of alt text on the majority of the museum’s non-collection images, and planning for a team of staff to write alt text for at least 500 artworks by the end of 2022. Along the way, we enlisted the expertise of a local organization that serves those in the community with low or no vision.
Our session will focus on why we felt it was important to extend our on-site experience and institutional DEAI initiatives to our museum’s website and how we went about this process. We will share some of the resources that we found helpful and be transparent about where we got stuck and the decisions we made to move beyond those sticking points. We will share what we have learned from this process so far, including writing tips, strategies for cross-departmental participation, and collaboration with experts outside of the museum field for best practices.
During this session, we would like to give participants the opportunity to write alt text for their organization’s online collection images and get feedback from the group.
We would also be willing to present a condensed version as a Lightening Talk.