Automate the Creation
& Editing of Alt Text
Making your document genuinely accessible is simply the “right thing to do” and we hope you will invest the necessary time and effort.
By the way, with our software you will accomplish this important step in half the time it would otherwise take you to make your document accessible.
What is Alt Text?
In Word documents and PowerPoint files the text a screen reader “reads” is obviously the text contained in the body of the documents, but what about pictures, charts, tables, shapes, SmartArt, text boxes and video that are also in the documents – how are they described by the screen reader? The answer is “Alternative Text” that gets associated with each special object and that the screen reader “speaks” to the end user.
ABOUT ALT TEXT
Alternative Text for each inserted object has two parts:
- A title for the special object
- A fuller description that can be optionally read to the disabled individual.
Creating these two pieces of readable data for every picture, chart, shape, SmartArt, table, etc. in the document can be a time consuming and expensive process… and that is where Great Circle Learning software can help.
About 508 Compliance
Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (as amended) requires that electronic and information technology (EIT) be accessible to people with disabilities.
- Web and mobile sites and applications
- All attached files on the intranet, as well as, internet
- Hardware (computers, networks, printers, etc)
Section 508 applies to your organization if you:
Are a government agency or administer a federal program
Are a vendor or contractor for a government agency
- Are an educational institution that receives federal funds via the Assistive Technology Act
If you are hoping to secure a government contract, being Section 508 compliant will increase your chances of being chosen as the preferred vendor.
Use Alt Text to make your documents accessible to screen readers.
“Screen readers are software programs that allow blind or visually impaired users to read the text that is displayed on the computer screen with a speech synthesizer or braille display.”
– American Foundation for the Blind
For Word Documents:
Zapps Pro The Collection
From the information it already has on “non-text” embedded objects, Zapps Pro can automatically generate alternate text titles and descriptions for charts, tables, shapes, SmartArt, text boxes and video
For all pictures you insert, with Zapps Pro installed as an add-in to Microsoft Word:
- the file name of the picture automatically becomes the Alternate Text Title for the picture object, and
- the full path to the picture automatically becomes the Alternate Text Description for it.
So depending on just how descriptive your file names really are, the Zapps Pro add-in already gives you an excellent start at immediately making your media rich documents more accessible to the visually disabled. The Alt Text is added automatically whether you use the Insert Pictures function of Word or Zapps Pro.
For PowerPoint: george!
Use george! to add or edit Alt Text in an open PowerPoint file, for screen readers and 508 compliance.
This is about associating text with the images on your slides. george! uses the information it already has on “non-text” embedded objects to automatically generate alternate text titles and descriptions. And george! gives you the ability to quickly edit the Alt Text to improve it.
For Training Materials:
When building facilitator guides and participant workbooks to support virtual or traditional instructor-led training, LeaderGuide Pro automatically adds Alt Text to images and tables for screen readers to help ensure 508 compliance. This functionality is enabled for both LeaderGuide Pro Elements and LeaderGuide Pro Plus. It is taken care of automatically.
Using Zapps Pro or george! or LeaderGuide Pro to automatically generate alternative text is a good starting point, but it is not all you should do to make your document truly accessible.
Zapps Pro and george! provide automated “Review and Edit” controls. After auto generating the Alternate Text for all objects be sure to use these controls to improve what the screen reader will “say” about your inserted objects.
When using LeaderGuide Pro, right-click on images to access the Alt Text. And, with your Word file open, you can click on File > Info > Check for Issues > Check Accessibility. This will bring up a task pane that will list any accessibility issues found.