alt: [A group of women are sitting around a table bending over colorful printouts of objects and people. In pairs of two they engaged with one image. Some analyze the printout in silence while others discuss. On the table, some room has been made for two cakes. One brown with some dark chocolate flakes and icing on the top, the other white with some red berry dots and topped with whipped cream and pink powder.]
By Edith Terte Andersen.
By now it has become a well-established tradition in ETHOS Lab to celebrate Ada Lovelace Day. The day is internationally known as a celebration of the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). This year on Ada Lovelace Day (October 11th) ETHOS Lab hosted a workshop on writing alternative text (alt text) through a poetic lens. Using the book “Alt-Text as Poetry Workbook” made by the disabled activists and artists Shannon Finnegan and Bojana Coklyat, we explored alt text in the context of web accessibility and reflected upon the practice of writing text to be interpreted by screen readers. Through the exercises we broadened our knowledge and awareness of a web accessibility practice which deserves much more attention, and reflected upon how we through short and concise text, which is the format of alt text, describe peoples identity and representation. What identifying factors do we choose to highlight when describing an image? How do our own identities play in to what we feel comfortable talking about? And how do we balance poetic freedom with to-the-point description? At the end of the event good discussions were had over cake, while comparing the alt text we had written for images of a handful of women in STEM.
alt: [On a whiteboard in a room with fairy lights hanging from the ceiling, four images of women are presented. Each image shows a woman either engaged in technology or engaged in a speech or presentation of some sort. On the right side of each image some post-its are placed in different colors with some written text on.]