The description of visual resources is a crucial component of accessible digital publications, as it affords access to the information contained in images for the many people with disabilities that affect reading, and for all the technologies that interact with publications when indexing, searching, or converting text to speech. Description makes visual resources more discoverable and sustainable, and makes publications more useful to more people.

In academic publications in the arts and humanities, description must be scholarly as well as accessible, and in line with existing standards: metadata, copyright, and disciplinary conventions. It is therefore best managed by the scholars, academic publishers, and arts organizations who create the publications.

The resources in this toolkit are designed to support authors, editors, publishers, and arts organizations in advancing the description of visual resources for accessibility in arts and humanities publications.


Understand. Learn why we need accessible digital publications for people with print disabilities and how this project developed.


Describe. As an author, you can describe visual resources to make your work more accessible, and let publishers and image rights holders know that accessibility is important to you.


Promote. As an editor, you can help authors to produce quality description and help your publishing organization to produce accessible publications.


Commit. As a publisher, you can join the movement for accessible publishing by including descriptions of visual resources in your publications.

Arts Organizations

Share. As an arts organization, you can share the description you already produce to be used for accessibility.