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A Good Reason To Use Image Alt Tags

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Alt tags are small bits of text (sometimes not so small) that only show when an image on your page is blocked for one reason or another.

Back in the old days of s-l-o-w dial up modems many people surfed with the images turned off in order to speed things up by not not having to download images. What site designers put in the images are text tags that are supposed to describe the missing image.

Today very few people even know that you can turn off images while surfing, but many people with visual disabilities use special equipment to read web pages. These programs use the image alt tags to let the visitor know what the picture that they can’t see is.

A lawsuit brought in 2006 by a blind student at the University of California-Berkeley has now become a class action case against US retailer Target for not having image alt tags on their site. I try to have alt tags for the images on my site, not just for accessibility, but for SEO). I know that I am not as diligent as I could be.

When you get sued you don’t have to lose to lose, so I think this should be a lesson for all site owners.

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