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The Art and Science of Describing Images Part Two (W)

Art and Science of Describing Images Part Two opening slideIn our series of free weekly webinars December 2nd saw a session focused on image description: part two in the series entitled, The Art and Science of Describing Images. This webinar focused on more complex images than Part One, with speakers Huw Alexander and Valerie Morrison digging deeper into how we approach alt text and long description.

This page contains:

Full Video of the Webinar

Speakers

  • Richard Orme, The DAISY Consortium—host and chair
  • Valerie Morrison—Center for Inclusive Design and Innovation at Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Huw Alexander—textBOX Digital

Session Overview

Huw Alexander opened this session giving us a brief resume of what the webinar will cover. The world has become driven by content especially in the digital space and, now more than ever, that content needs to be as accessible as possible. Over the last 10 years we have seen educational materials shift to a much more visual form of conveying information and society has followed suit. We need to be able to deliver this information so that it is accessible to everyone.

Valerie Morrison and Huw then took us through a series of complex image types, giving us an overview of how they tackle describing them and sharing with us their top tips for success. Valerie admitted that she still finds many types of images daunting, even with her years of experience but if you have the right approach you can break it down and keep it simple for the reader. Below are some of the main points for each image type which can be found in greater detail in the slide deck, together with some excellent examples.

Maps and Choropleths

Maps

  • Always begin with a general overview giving a description of what the map is about
  • If there’s an inset table this might be a good  place to start
  • Only describe items which are contextually important to the map
  • Lists are useful in describing maps
  • Don’t worry about colors (unless it’s a choropleth) or symbols which often don’t carry significance

Choropleths

These type of maps display quantitive values for distinct spatial regions using color. Consequently, they require a slightly different approach:

  • Reference the title, the structure, the text key which may point to colors to measure the data, the scale and the trend analysis
  • A political choropleth may also need dates, emphasis and context, places of interest, edge boundaries and a  scale ratio

Timelines

  • Create one general overview sentence
  • Describe the range of the timeline
  • List some of the details

Bar Charts

  • Begin with the title and what the x and y axis denote
  • Describe how the chart has been arranged and why. Sometimes bar charts are arranged to create a visual impact and this might require highlighting
  • Describe each bar in regular, predictable ways

Supply and Demand Curves

  • Begin again with the title and an x and y overview, remembering that this is just a graph!
  • Describe the slopes and where they intersect
  • Keep it simple. It’s easy to get lost in the “word salad” with this type of image

Complex Infographics

  • Overview sentence should contain information on the basic parts of the infographic, the timeline and the illustrations it contains
  • Work from the general to the specific, filling in the details as needed
  • Make sure your description references: the title, the structure of the graphic, the information contained within each section, descriptions of the relevant images only, numbered list elements
  • Do not describe decorative images

Tables

  • Sometimes the tables are arranged specifically for sighted readers and you should sort the information out into more of a table to help readers process the amount of data.
  • Complex STEM Infographics are very hard to parse and it’s much easier if you can convert them into tables with specific columns. An example of how making images available in multiple modalities can help reach more learners eg. a dyslexic reader would benefit from this specific approach.
  • Consider adding structural alt text to your tables. This gives the reader an head start in understanding how the table is organized and allows them to create a mental map before they process the information that it contains.

Before taking questions, Huw ended the session by reminding us:

You are trying to recreate the image and it’s impact for the reader. To do this you need to unravel the complexity it may involve and create a level playing field for all users.

Related Resources

Discover the other webinars we’re running!

Free Webinar: The Art and Science of Describing Images – Part 2

December 2nd, 2020

The DAISY Consortium is delighted to announce the return of this series of free weekly webinars on accessible publishing and reading. We started this series earlier this year in response to the multiple challenges being faced by conferences around the world due to Coronavirus, as well as feedback from the wider DAISY community expressing interest in online training resources.

This session continues our popular theme of webinars providing guidance and examples for effectively describing graphical information. In this webinar we start to explore some of the more complex image types including:

  • Maps and geographic information
  • Tabular data
  • Charts
  • Timelines
  • Infographics

The recording of the first webinar in the describing images series is also freely available.

Date

December 2nd, 2020

Venue

Online (via Zoom)

Learn More

Register for this webinar

Free Webinar: Leveraging InDesign for Accessible EPUB Creation

May 20th, 2020

The DAISY Consortium has announced the launch of a series of free weekly webinars on accessible publishing and reading in response to the multiple challenges being faced by conferences around the world due to Coronavirus, as well as feedback from the wider DAISY community expressing interest in online training resources.

If InDesign is part of your book production toolchain, then this webinar is for you. In it you will learn a set of tips and tricks for tricking InDesign into giving you cleaner, more accessible reflowable EPUB output. Some are simple typesetting tips to keep print and digital aligned, others are deeper ways to get more semantic HTML.

Date

May 20, 2020

Venue

Online via Zoom or via the DAISY YouTube channel afterwards

Learn More

Sign up for the May 20th webinar

For information on the whole DAISY webinar series on offer you can register your interest on the Webinar Information Page

All About Ebooks – 4 Week Webinar Series

April 19th, 2018
Kevin Callahan of BNGO Books (www.BNGObooks.com) is an ebook developer, writer and speaker based in New York City. He will be presenting 4 one hour sessions on accessible ebooks via The Editorial Freelancer Association. Full information can be found at the EFA website including details on how to register. The first session is on April 19th, 2018

Accessible Publishing Webinar: What You Need to Know to Get Accessibility Right

April 4th, 2018

Most publishers now realize how important it is to make their publications accessible. The question is no longer the “why,” but the “how.” This webinar, organized by Apex Covantage, is designed to show you how. Join Bill Kasdorf, noted authority on accessibility and publishing workflows, for practical advice that will get you on the right track to making your publications “born accessible.”

Date

April 4, 2018 at 2pm ET

Venue

Online

Learn More

Information is available at the Apex Covantage website including details on how to register for this free event

Webinar on Digital Equality: The Importance of Accessibility in Your Publishing Strategy

February 28th, 2018

Compelled by clear ethical reasons and compliance requirements, most publishers are working to make content fully accessible. Creating content that is “born accessible” also opens up new opportunities for publishers to expand the reach of content and connect with new audiences and markets.

In this free webinar from napco media, you’ll learn:

  • How properly structured and tagged content improves discoverability and is the foundation for accessibility
  • What Section 508 and WCAG compliance means for publishers and their digital content
  • Practical tips to build accessibility into publishing workflows
  • How well structured content and metadata improves rendering for multiple formats and platforms, including HTML5 and EPUB3

Date:

February 28th, 2018

Time:

2pm ET, 11am PT

Learn More:

Further details on speakers and how to attend are available on the webinar registration page.

EDRLab Webinar – Accessibility and EPUB 3: November 28th, 2017

November 28th, 2017

Since November 2016 EDRLab has gradually invested in the field of accessibility: production, certification, distribution and uses, all essential topics for a natively accessible ecosystem is emerging in France and elsewhere around the EPUB 3 format. Fernando Pinto da Silva (EDRLab) will be hosting a webinar dedicated to accessibility on the 28th of November. For further information visit the EDRLab website at https://www.edrlab.org/2017/10/20/webinaire-accessibilite-et-epub-3/.

NB: this webinar will be in French

Venue: – Online or via telephone

Date: 28th November, 2017

Time – 15.00 – 16.00 CEST