Inclusive Imagery – Writing Alt-Text Depicting People with Disabilities and Other Marginalized Identities

Thursday, March 16, 2023
2:00 PM - 3:30 PM Eastern Time Zone


There are billions of digital images, most of which are not accessible to blind screen reader users because they lack quality image descriptions. Increasingly, digital images include representations of people with diverse identities––including people of color, people who are trans or gender nonconforming, and/or people with disabilities. This adds a layer of complexity for image description authors, who may wonder how to find the words to describe these identities with sensitivity, or if they should be mentioned at all. In this webinar, we will briefly review the basics of writing good image descriptions. Then, we will present examples and some starting guidelines for describing a wide range of marginalized identities. This will be a hands-on webinar on a big topic, so come prepared to practice writing your own image descriptions and to have an interactive discussion on the complexities of describing marginalized identities in alt text.

Continuing Education Recognition Available

Certificate Credit hours
Certificate of Attendance 1.5


Ali Abdolrahmani, Ph.D., Ph.D. in Human-Centered Computing, University of Maryland Baltimore County (Graduate)

Stacy Branham, PhD, Associate Professor of Informatics, University of California

Emory James Edwards, PhD Candidate, University of California

Questions for presenters:

2 How can we describe weight? I was working on image descriptions for an article about how fat people were not depicted on social media and the article had several examples. Should I be guessing at people's weight? This feels very inappropriate! Even terms like "straight-sized" seem hard to apply and problematic. Thank you!
3 Is it necessary to describe the person in the image when the focus & intent of the image is something else? (i.e. "An older, heavy-set Caucasian woman wearing goggles and nitrile gloves carefully pipettes a clear liquid sample into a small laboratory vessel." vs. "A female scientist carefully pipettes a clear liquid sample into a small laboratory vessel.")
4 if possible show us how to do an actual post from start to finish that is accessible.

Session Questions

This session is accepting questions from registered users. After you have registered to participate in this session you can submit your questions on your Account Manager page. Please note: the number of questions will be limited and submissions will be closed well before the session starts to provide time to prepare answers.