the textBOX method

what is image description?

While screen reader technologies are designed to read the text on the web, they cannot interpret and describe non-text graphics, such as images, tables, figures, and charts to the reader. Digital content providers must include a text alternative, or image description, for every graphic so readers with visual or cognitive disabilities (blindness, dyslexia) have equal access to information. In the 2017 WebAIM screen reader survey, respondents categorized missing alternative text descriptions as the primary “problematic item” whilst engaging with content.


Adding image descriptions to digital content is the first principle of accessible publishing but it is one of the most difficult to properly implement (WebAIM). Writing image description content requires subject matter expertise, thoughtful interpretation of the context of a graphic within a work, knowledge of accessibility standards and guidelines, as well as HTML coding and XML design. 

The Rolling Stones perform on stage in Sweden.
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The Rolling Stones perform onstage at the Royal Tennis Hall in Stockholm, Sweden in 1966.

Mick Jagger, wearing sunglasses and a striped blazer, crouches at the center of the stage. 

To the left of Jagger, Brian Jones plays guitar and looks across at his band-mates. Keith Richards, wearing a dark suit with a high collar, concentrates on his own guitar. Bill Wyman, playing his bass guitar in his distinctive style, turns to Charlie Watts on drums (obscured from view).

Behind the band hangs a poster for Bildjournalen, a popular youth magazine in Sweden in the 1960s.

The Beatles, wearing matching dark suits, jump for joy in a shopping plaza in Stockholm, Sweden in 1963 as shoppers look on.

From left to right, Ringo Starr, George Harrison, John Lennon and Paul McCartney.

McCartney holds his arms aloft and appears to be shouting exuberantly.

The Beatles played two concerts at the Royal Tennis Hall in the city in October.

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The Beatles jump for joy on a high street in Stockholm in 1963.
A depiction of the lyrics of thePink Floyd song, WishYou Were Here, as a flowchart.
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Brief description

A flowchart visualizes the lyrics of the Pink Floyd song, Wish You Were Here.


Full Description

A flowchart visualizes the lyrics of the Pink Floyd Song, Wish You Were Here. The song is divided into three verses.

The first verse begins “So, so you think you can tell.” A series of choices are then provided in labeled boxes:

  • Heaven or Hell

  • Blue skies or pain

  • Green field or cold steel rail

  • Smile or veil


The second verse begins “Did they get you to trade?” A series of choices are then provided in labeled boxes:

  • Heroes for ghosts

  • Hot ashes for trees

  • Hot air for a cool breeze

  • Cold comfort for change


The second verse concludes with the question: “Did you exchange?” with two choices in labeled boxes:

  • A walk-in part in the war

  • A lead role in a cage


The third verse begins “How I wish” and continues “You were here.” Two boxes labelled “lost soul” point to a third box labeled “swimming.” These connect to a new box entitled “fishbowl.” Two further boxes are interconnected by circular arrows and are labelled “year” and “after year.” The next box is labeled “running over” connecting to another box labeled “the same old ground”.

The closing lines begin with the question “What have we found?” The answer is “the same old fears.”

The song ends with the refrain, “Wish you were here”. An “X” accompanies the last line, marking “here”.

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A bar chart depicts the 40 greatest Led Zeppelin songs by album according to Rolling Stone magazine. The bar chart contains 9 data points, one for each Led Zeppelin album. Years and albums are plotted on the y-axis. Number of songs is plotted on the x-axis.

The data points are as follows:

  • 1969: Led Zeppelin: 6 songs

  • 1969: Led Zeppelin 2: 5 songs

  • 1969: Live at the BBC: 1 song

  • 1970: Led Zeppelin 3: 4 songs

  • 1971: Led Zeppelin 4: 8 songs

  • 1973: Houses of the Holy: 7 songs

  • 1975: Physical Graffiti: 5 songs

  • 1976: Presence: 1 song

  • 1979: In Through the Out Door: 3 songs

bar chart of the greatest Led Zeppelin songs by album according to Rolling Stone magazine

A black and white film still from the 1926 film The General.

Buster Keaton crouches on the cow-catcher mounted on the front of a moving steam locomotive.


He looks forward with fear etched on his face.

The scene culminates with the most expensive stunt scene of the silent film era.

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Harold Lloyd hangs from a clock face in the film, Safety Last.
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A black and white film still from the 1923 film Safety Last.

The actor Harold Lloyd, wearing black-rimmed glasses and a dark suit, hangs precariously from the clock hands of a clock suspended high above a city street scene.

Below him on the street, trams, cars and pedestrians are oblivious to the events above.

Lloyd, his feet kicking, turns in the direction of the camera as the clock face starts to tilt further.

The image became one of the most iconic of the silent film era.

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