## Alt-Text & Link Rot — How Accessibility Features Benefit Everyone

Links rot. It’s unfortunate, but it’s just a part of the web. Content disappears and links rot; if you don’t host your own images, then you can’t guarantee that your images will always appear. In this situation, alt-text can be the difference between your piece still making sense and it being completely useless. This is because many browsers show the alt-text with the missing image icon, so descriptive alt-text can make sure your audience still gets the necessary information.

*If the alt-text doesn’t load for you, try viewing this article on my site.*

### Examples

#### Quiz question

Here is how this question is supposed to look like:

Alice, Bob, and Carlos go to a restaurant and pay a total of $38.50. Bob does not eat beef. Alice payed less than Carlos, Carlos payed more than Bob, and Alice payed more than Bob. What did each person order at the restaurant?

Unfortunately, the link to the image no longer works, leaving this question completely unanswerable:

Alice, Bob, and Carlos go to a restaurant and pay a total of $38.50. Bob does not eat beef. Alice payed less than Carlos, Carlos payed more than Bob, and Alice payed more than Bob. What did each person order at the restaurant?

If the person who made the quiz provided alt-text, then the quiz would still be answerable (albeit erroneously formatted):

Alice, Bob, and Carlos go to a restaurant and pay a total of $38.50. Bob does not eat beef. Alice payed less than Carlos, Carlos payed more than Bob, and Alice payed nore than Bob. What did each person order at the restaurant?

#### Graphs

Math can be nearly impossible sometimes without graphing. Imagine if you prepared a document with graphs but didn’t include alt-text! Here are some examples of how graphs can be understood through alt-text.

Suppose we add the line g(x) = |x − 2|. Where would this line intersect with f(x)?

Suppose we add the line g(x) = |x − 2|. Where would this line intersect with f(x)?

Suppose we add the line g(x) = |x − 2|. Where would this line intersect with f(x)?

#### Images as links

If you use images as links, then not using alt-text means they’re completely unreadable if the image fails to load or if a user relies on a screenreader.

#### General

Even if your images don’t contain critical information, you still probably put them there for a reason. It’d be nice if people still had an idea of the images if they don’t load.

Did you know that Massachusetts residents who qualify for food stamps (SNAP) can get an additional $40 per person per household each month to spend on fresh fruits and vegetables?

Did you know that Massachusetts residents who qualify for food stamps (SNAP) can get an additional $40 per person per household each month to spend on fresh fruits and vegetables?

Did you know that Massachusetts residents who qualify for food stamps (SNAP) can get an additional $40 per person per household each month to spend on fresh fruits and vegetables?

© DJ Chase 2023-02-28. Licensed under the Academic Free License (AFL 3.0).