Checkpoint A.03 focuses on providing a text equivalent for ASCII art. See the sections below for specific examples and techniques.
ASCII art is the usage of text characters to make a picture or similar item such as a data table. Since a screen reader would attempt to read it character by character the user would have no way to understand what the author had intended. ASCII art should always be avoided.
Below we have created two charts showing the relationship of cost versus time. The chart made with ASCII characters will be meaningless to users of screen readers. The second chart shows the same information in a bit-map image created using simple drawing software. While the image is inaccessible to users of screen readers, at least we can add equivalent text using the alt or longdesc attributes. (See the example for Checkpoint A.01 for an example of using "longdesc.")
|ASCII-art graph||Bit-mapped image graph|
| C 40-| o
o 30-| o o
s 20-| o o
t 10-| o
' ' ' '
1 2 3 4
Another common example of ASCII art is using repeated text characters to represent horizontal lines.
Instead of using dashes or other characters for a horizontal line use an image with a alt tag.
Incorrectly using repeated characters for a horizontal line.
Correctly using an image with an alt tag for a horizontal line