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WCAG: 1.1.1: <object> elements must have alternate text

All embedded objects must have text alternatives to be read out to screen reader users.

Screen readers have no way of translating non-text content into text announced to users. Instead, they read out alternative text. For screen reader users to obtain the information contained in embedded object elements which must contain short, descriptive alternative text.

The object element defines an embedded object within a document. It is used to embed multimedia (audio, video, applets, etcetera.) or another web page into the document. The object element needs a text alternative so that users of screen readers know the contents of the object.

When writing a text alternative, keep in mind that the purpose of the alternative text is to relay information to blind users about the image’s contents and purpose - blind users should be able to get as much information from alternative text as a sighted user gets from the image. Alternative text should give the intent, purpose, and meaning of the image.

When writing alternative text, it’s helpful to keep the following questions in mind:

  • Why is the non-text content here?
  • What information is it presenting?
  • What purpose does it fulfill?
  • If I could not use the non-text content, what words would I use to convey the same information or function?

Be sure that all text contained in this attribute is useful. Words like “chart”, “image”, “diagram”, or image file names tend not to be very useful.

Learn more about this accessibility rule at Deque University >>

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