In this spotlight, let's discuss images of text and how they may impact learners accessing your content.
WCAG 1.4.5: Images of Text (AA) states that if an author can use text to achieve the same visual effect, they should present the information as text rather than using an image. Images of text can be images of styled headings, quotations, logos, letters with important content, diagrams with text, or infographics with text. Not complying with this criterion and using images of text or text that is presented inside an image, can impact people with low vision as images can become blurry when enlarged. They can also impact people using smaller screens to access the content as these images don't scale to the screen as the native text does. Besides, unless Alt text is used, screen reader users will not be able to access the written content.
One exception to this rule is if the user can customize the text in the image by changing the font or the colour for example. Another example is when the text in the image is essential such as with logos, charts and graphs. Note, however, that it is best practice to provide Alt text with images at all times.
The advanced version of this criterion, 1.4.9: Images of Text (No Exception) AAA states that images of text should be used ONLY for decorative purposes or when they are considered essential like logos, charts and diagrams.