ALT Text Examples

Below are some images, along with the alt text and captions.  The alt text would only be read by a screen reader. The captions would be read be everyone. These are all taken from an Anthropology course developed by Alex Markovic, Ph.D. at UIC, who gave permission to share his materials.  It is important to note that he had never taken an online class, nor taught an online class, and he was developing the first online Anthropology class for UIC. The idea of alt text was new to him.  The only instructions he was given were to describe the pictures by thinking about what he’d like a visually impaired student to get out of the pictures included in the class.  He did a wonderful job on 100+ images in his course. Below are sample of them.

A young white Western woman wears a mock-up of a Native American feather headdress while she is perched on the shoulders of another party-goer at an outdoor festival event.
Alt Text: A young white Western woman wears a mock-up of a Native American feather headdress while she is perched on the shoulders of another party-goer at an outdoor festival event.

Caption: Does this young woman have Native American ancestry or connections? What does it mean when she wears this headdress? Is it authentic? Is it disrespectful?

This map shows a portion of the network of roads that made up the Silk Road route, from its eastern end in China through South and Central Asia, heading into Persia and further west.
Alt Text:This map shows a portion of the network of roads that made up the Silk Road route, from its eastern end in China through South and Central Asia, heading into Persia and further west.

Caption:A portion of the historical network of roads that made up the Silk Road trade route.

At a press conference, an indigenous tribal leader in Brazil shakes the hand of a Brazilian government official, the latter dressed in a typical suit and tie. The tribal leader on the other hand wears a grey sweatshirt, but also wears a headband with a crown of large yellow bird feathers, strings of small green, white, and blue plastic beads as necklaces, and a large decorative wooden plate in a hole in his distended lower lip.
Alt Text: At a press conference, an indigenous tribal leader in Brazil shakes the hand of a Brazilian government official, the latter dressed in a typical suit and tie. The tribal leader on the other hand wears a grey sweatshirt, but also wears a headband with a crown of large yellow bird feathers, strings of small green, white, and blue plastic beads as necklaces, and a large decorative wooden plate in a hole in his distended lower lip. Caption: Indigenous tribal leader in Brazil shakes the hand of a Brazilian politician during a photo opportunity at a meeting.
In a photo taken at the turn of the last century, Montenegrin men from the same clan march across a field with their rifles and swords at the ready. All are dressed in formal, ceremonial folk attire, with baggy blue trousers, red waistcoats, short round pillbox hats on their heads, in some cases overcoats that reach to the knee.
Alt Text: In a photo taken at the turn of the last century, Montenegrin men from the same clan march across a field with their rifles and swords at the ready. All are dressed in formal, ceremonial folk attire, with baggy blue trousers, red waistcoats, short round pillbox hats on their heads, in some cases overcoats that reach to the knee.

Caption: These men make up the warriors of a single clan of a Montenegrin tribe-they march across this field with weapons in hand to present themselves for military duty at the turn of the last century (late 1800s-early 1900s).

This meme uses a popular photo of a young African boy looking skeptically at a white woman who crouches next to him. The meme text reads: "So you're telling me white people get tribal tattoos without a tribe???"
Alt Text: This meme uses a popular photo of a young African boy looking skeptically at a white woman who crouches next to him. The meme text reads: “So you’re telling me white people get tribal tattoos without a tribe???”

Caption: Westerners popularly apply the word “tribal” to all kinds of things believed to be connected to “exotic or primitive” peoples, from tattoos to belly dance styles to clothing. This is not the way that anthropologists use the term-although they might find this meme funny, all the same.

Depicted is a photograph of an X chromosome (longer and larger in size on the left) and a Y chromosome (much shorter and positioned on the right).
Alt Text: Depicted is a photograph of an X chromosome (longer and larger in size on the left) and a Y chromosome (much shorter and positioned on the right).

Caption: This is an XY chromosomal pair, indicated that the owner of these chromosomes would be classified as a biological male and (in theory) will display primarily male genitalia and secondary sex characteristics.

A page from a Spanish colonial manuscript shows 16 various racial categories. Drawings show various combinations of parents, from Africans to natives to Europeans, and give the appropriate racial label for the children of those unions.
Alt Text: A page from a Spanish colonial manuscript shows 16 various racial categories. Drawings show various combinations of parents, from Africans to natives to Europeans, and give the appropriate racial label for the children of those unions.

Caption: Colonial-era manuscript showing 16 different racial categories in Mexico at the time. Note that each image shows the term/designation for the child of a particular pairing of adults from different backgrounds, whether African, native, European, etc.

Alt-text: An advertisement from 19th century Romania announces the sale of Romani slaves. In the center of the announcement is a drawing of a shackled, sitting man. Above in large letters we read “FOR SALE”, and the text below indicates that 10 Romani men, 7 women, and 3 children are available for purchase.]

Caption: An advertisement from 19th century Romania announces the sale of Romani slaves. Above in large letters we read “FOR SALE”, and the text below the image indicates that 10 Romani men, 7 women, and 3 children are available for purchase.

Alt Text: Two indigenous Maya women are seen standing and talking together in a marketplace; each is wearing brightly colored clothing specific to her community, with a huipil blouse, long corte skirt, and cloth wrapped on her head.

Caption: These indigenous Maya women’s clothing instantly communicates their ethnic belonging to onlookers, who can use even subtle differences in the specific colors and designs of their clothing to differentiate the language group and specific community in which they live!