Tandem Vault’s TV3 application is the first Digital Asset Management (DAM) software to support the International Press Telecommunications Council’s (IPTC) new Alt Text (Accessibility) and Extended Description (Accessibility) metadata properties.
On Oct. 27, the IPTC released the new version of its Photo Metadata Standard that includes these two new properties to make images more accessible. For the first time ever, there is now a standardized method for embedding accessible descriptions directly into image files for interoperability between systems.
Alternative Text (Alt Text) is an HTML attribute that is used to describe images which cannot be displayed or viewed. Originally designed for web services that were not able to display images, it is now primarily used for accessibility for blind and visually-impaired people, through the use of assistive technologies such as screen readers.
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“Most images on the web today have alt text that is inaccurate, incomplete, or missing altogether, creating access barriers that block people from engaging with our digital world,” said Caroline Desrosiers, founder and CEO of Scribely, an accessibility solutions company. “This problem is decades overdue and it cannot continue. Equal access to information online is a civil right. With IPTC’s new accessibility fields, we now have a way to “hard-wire” alt text to photo metadata and create born-accessible images that include everyone.”
Alternative Text is a requirement for any federally funded website or other electronic publication. The omission of Alternative Text presents significant legal liability under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.
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Adding the new accessibility properties to the IPTC Standard will allow all compliant software to read, write and transfer this data reliably. It can also facilitate automatic extraction of the data by Content Management (CMS) systems.
“As the “source of truth” about your media, we believe it’s essential for DAM software to support robust metadata creation and interchange between systems,” said TV3 Chief Product Officer Peter Krogh. “We’re very pleased that TV3 is the first DAM software to implement the new standard. In order to foster adoption, it’s essential to give organizations a way to create and embed the data.”