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    ‘Access Alt’ encourages advertisers to make campaigns accessible to visually impaired

    Content Marketing Association and digital agency Puzzle want more marketers and agencies to use alt text.

    Digital agency Puzzle has launched a campaign to promote the use of alt text and make the web more accessible for visually impaired users.

    Alt text is one of the simplest ways to make the web more accessible – essentially it’s a description of an image, written by a publisher or website owner, that’s read back aloud to users by a screen reader app.

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    It’s been part of the infrastructure of the web since the early 1990s, but it’s underused across the internet. In the US, several lawsuits have been brought against private companies for not providing adequate alt text.

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    Along with the Content Marketing Association and the Valuable 500 association of global chief executives, Puzzle has launched ‘#AccessAlt’ to encourage advertising and marketing companies to use more alt text in their work.

    Lauren White, chief operating officer at London and Nottingham-based Puzzle, said that by ignoring the needs of visually impaired audiences, agencies and marketers were reducing the potential reach of their work.

    “Stats from the World Health Organisation show that 28% of the global population is visually impaired. If you’re not using alt text you’re effectively censoring yourself by excluding this audience. Our #AccessAlt campaign makes it easy for agencies and digital professionals to take the next step on the inclusion journey,” she argued.

    The campaign includes a range of images highlighting the lost audience numbers resulting from marketers not providing alt text descriptions.

    The agency is also offering practical support and resources to help peers make better use of alt text.

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    White added: “At Puzzle, we think it’s time to change the inclusivity landscape. #AccessAlt isn’t intended to be preachy. We’re saying to our digital industry peers that by using this tool and being more inclusive, you can open up a whole new audience. It’s a win-win.”

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