22NTC Session: Digital Inclusion
Beyond “99 Red Balloons” – a Pragmatic Guide to Alternative-Text


We love to include images on our websites and digital assets. Images support and add context to our information and concepts. They can act as visual cues and help some users orient themselves on a page. Media, especially social media, include images for conversions; having images on posts leads to a higher clickthrough rate and ROI (return on investment).

Images can be simple and easy to add alternative text, but they can also be more complex like infographics, charts, or maps.

Let’s take a nostalgic walk through some imagery from the 80s music scene and ensure our alt text conveys the information in a meaningful way for those who cannot access the images visually. From 99 Red Balloons shaking us all night long, to Burning Down the House we don’t want to leave any of our users behind.

Session Type

60 minute workshop

Learning Outcomes

  • Attendees will understand the concept of digital inclusion around images
  • Attendees will understand the importance of clear and concise alt text for images for different types of images
  • Attendees will learn how not all image descriptions are equal given current context

Target Audience

Content creators, editors, and authors, Marketing and communications staff