An alt text guide to ensure everyone can enjoy your memes

The meme economy rarely falters, and as the impetus for much of our social posting, memes have become the common vernacular and social currency of generations of users. But a huge portion of those digital consumers are frequently left out of the loop, the product of failed website accessibility, user error, or even misinformation. Meme inaccessibility isn’t simply a technological or communicative gap: “Barriers to participating in meme culture can also directly affect social lives,” TIME reported in a 2020 story with researchers from Carnegie Mellon University. That’s where informative and accessible alternative text (alt text) comes in.  SEE ALSO: The best memes of 2023 (so far) Veronica Lewis is an assistive technology advocate and writer of accessibility blog “Veroniiiica” (“Veronica with Four Eyes”). Lewis — who identifies as someone with low vision, and uses a cane and other assistive technology in her everyday life — published a frequently cited guide on writing alt text for our collective online humor back in 2018, and has since kept her highly-informative How-To updated for all.Lewis’ guide includes a crash course on alt text, a guide to meme-based considerations, and plenty of helpful examples. As she writes, “Accessible memes are my favorite memes.”Accessible memes make the internet a fun place for all, but the practice is helpful in a variety of ways. 3Play Media, a captioning and video accessibility company, notes that adding alt text to your memes is a beneficial practice for companies and creators, too. “Alt text allows bots to ‘read’ and better understand…An alt text guide to ensure everyone can enjoy your memes