[wp-edu] Best accessibility practice for long descriptions of images?

Jennifer Stevens jennifer_stevens at emerson.edu
Tue Mar 27 16:04:17 UTC 2012

Hello wp-edu,

I'm trying to make charts and graphs that we post on our WP blog accessible, and think ahead so that we format information in a way that doesn't make us do backwards-compatible accessibility after the fact. The charts in question are too complex to be described in alt text, making a longer description necessary.

I've found a very helpful post about 25 Ways to Make Your WordPress Website More Accessible<http://wpmu.org/25-ways-to-make-your-wordpress-website-more-accessible/> that suggests using the <http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/long-description-for-image-attachments/> Long Description<http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/long-description-for-image-attachments/> plugin. However, the longdesc attribute is deprecated in HTML5 (though there appears to be much controversy about that), so I'm not sure that is a long term solution.

WebAIM suggests three options for creating accessible images<http://webaim.org/techniques/images/longdesc>:

 1.  Provide the long description in the context of the document itself.
 2.  Provide a link to a long description via a normal text link.
 3.  Provide a link to a long description via the longdesc attribute.

My question is, how do options these translate to WordPress?

Right now, we're uploading a .txt file of the long description to the Media Library and putting a <a href="local link to file.txt">Text description</a> link to that file under the chart (option 2 above). When clicked, the text file displays in the browser.

I'm not sure that is the most elegant or accessible solution, however, and would welcome input and suggestions.  How are you all handling this?

Jenn Stevens

Creative Instructional Designer
Emerson College
403B Walker Building
120 Boylston St
Boston MA 02116
(617) 824-3093

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