Agencies spread the AltTEXT message

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AUCKLAND, Tuesday: Blind & Low Vision NZ (previously The Blind Foundation is spearheading an awareness campaign by creating the #AltTextForAll Movement.

They’re asking individuals and businesses to start to use the ‘Alt Text’ technology that is available on every image uploaded to the internet to help make the world more accessible.

#AltTextForAll Movement supports unlocking the visual online world for those who are blind or have low vision.

Blind & Low Vision NZ marketing manager Louise von Sierakowski said: “They say an image is worth a thousand words – this is especially true in our visually-driven online world.

“However, for those who are blind or have low vision, this world is not always inclusive. For example, the World Blind Union claims only 10% of printed information is in accessible formats for those living with print disabilities, including people with sight loss, creating an information famine.

“Alt Text [alternative text] is an existing digital accessibility function available on images, which describes pictures for those who can’t see them. It allows people who use screen reader software to share in the images we publish.

“Creative work on the campaign is by Auckland agency YoungShand, with PR by Pead.”

“While Alt text is just one of the many ways to support digital accessibility, it’s an easy starting point for bringing accessibility and inclusiveness into day to day thinking. However, it is currently underutilised by people who may not know the true purpose of Alt Text.

“The #AltTextForAll Movement is asking everyone to undertake one simple task: To use the ‘Alt Text’ field when publishing digital images by taking a moment to describe the relevant information behind the image they are publishing. This way, screen reader users will have access to the context behind an image, offering meaningful insight where necessary.

“This small task changes what is read back to a screen reader user, from something as meaningless as ‘jpeg.6834938764’” to something as accurate as ‘Ryan Gosling smiles as he accepts an award for best comedy actor’.”

Blind & Low Vision NZ is seeking support from people to join the #AltTextForAll Movement which launched yesterday. Support may be in the form of simply adopting the Alt Text function on one platform such as Instagram, Facebook or your website, sharing the hashtag, or encouraging others to join the movement.

An estimated 30,000 individuals in New Zealand are affected by blindness or low vision, with six New Zealanders approaching Blind & Low Vision NZ every day for support with sight loss. A primary concern for these individuals is remaining independent and self-reliant in day-to-day activities that are important to them.

Creative work on the campaign is by Auckland agency YoungShand, with PR by Pead.

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