Picture Perfect: Describing Images in a Complex World.

Scheduled at 9:15am in Cotton Creek I on Wednesday, November 20.



  • Huw Alexander, COO, textBOX
  • Caroline Desrosiers, CEO, textBOX

Session Details

  • Length of Session: 1-hr
  • Format: Lecture
  • Expertise Level: Beginner
  • Type of session: General Conference


We will introduce the focus|LOCUS method of image description. Pedagogy has taken an increasingly visual turn in recent years and complex information and ideas are conveyed with a wide array of graphics and images. focus|LOCUS weaves together the art and science of description to create accessible images and promote inclusive higher education.


We will introduce the focus|LOCUS method of image description and how it simplifies the writing of descriptions for complex images. The technique is based on industry standards and best practices and is designed to help universities and publishers improve the quality and consistency of their image descriptions.

We will outline the key stages of describing a complex image, including analyzing description requirements for the image, writing the description using scene-setting and story-telling and ensuring the quality of the description.

The session will provide the audience with practical examples for a variety of complex images including graphs, diagrams and techniques for describing STEM content. We will also cover infographics, artworks and comics.

Attendees will discover the secrets of image description including the importance of structure, language and context. By the close of the session, the audience will feel confident about undertaking complex image description.


  1. A lack of image description is one of the key factors impacting learning outcomes and equality.
  2. Description is both an art and a science. focus|LOCUS is a map through the complexity of image description.
  3. Image description is integral for understanding the increasingly visual world of higher education.

Disability Areas

Cognitive/Learning, Vision

Topic Areas

Accessible Educational Materials, Alternate Format, eBooks, Including Accessibility in Curriculum, Uncategorized, Web/Media Access

Speaker Bio(s)

Huw Alexander

Huw has worked in the publishing industry for over 20 years in a variety of roles including bookselling, rights management and digital sales. His passion for accessibility has grown over the last decade and he has been inspired by the stories of readers and the wisdom of friends to co-found textBOX, an accessible image description company, as a way of making a difference.

Caroline Desrosiers

Caroline has an academic publishing background managing digital content production and distribution to channel partners. Her lifelong love of stories, commitment to education and determination to spark positive change inspired her to co-found textBOX - a company dedicated to a future that assures equal access to knowledge for all readers.