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ADA Compliance and Alt Text

ADA Compliance standards are not fully defined, but ThinkReservations achieves substantial conformance with the recommended guidelines. Continuing to improve and remain accessible is important to us.

Identifying a Room as 'ADA accessible':

To indicate that a room is ADA accessible, navigate to Settings > Rooms, and select the ADA accessible unit. If you have an ADA accessible room, you must check this box.  

If a guest chooses a room that you have indicated is ADA accessible, and you have a non-ADA accessible room available, the Booking Engine will ask the guest to confirm that they are aware they have selected an accessible room.

 

ADA and OTAs or Other 3rd Party Booking Sites:

IMPORTANT: Please be mindful that while these changes affect your ThinkReservations account, they do not affect your settings and configurations as set on any connected online travel agencies. It's also very important that if your property can be booked using other booking engines that you meet the ADA guidelines to the best of your ability there as well.


Alt Text:

Alt text (alternative text), also known as "alt attributes," "alt descriptions," and  "alt tags," are used to describe the appearance and function of an image on a page. This text is used by screen readers, which are software applications that enable people who are visually impaired, blind, or otherwise unable to read text on their own to have a comparable experience to those people with normal eyesight.

Can you share an example of effective alt text?

Yes! It's essential that your alt text allows your potential guests using screen readers to receive the same experience as those that can see the images. Think of alt text as a way to describe the details - not just a broad overview.  If you can close your eyes, have someone read the alt text to you, and imagine a reasonably accurate version of the image, you're on the right track! Some quick tips:

  1. Keep your alt text relatively short. Most popular screen readers cut off alt text at around 125 characters.
  2. You can use alt text to add keywords, but your priority should be describing and providing context to the image. Don't use alt text as a way to simply add a list of keywords. 
  3. Don't include "image of" or "picture of" in your alt text. This is already assumed. 

Let's look at some alt text examples for this image of something we can all relate to - PANCAKES!

Example 1: "Pancakes"

Sure, this is an image of pancakes, but there is so much more going on here. This is a poor use of alt text.

Example 2: "Stack of pancakes on a white plate covered with maple syrup, blueberries, and sliced strawberries."

If you were to read this text without an image, you would likely picture something similar to the photo shown here. We're also under the 125-character limit, so we don't need to worry that our description will be cut off. This is a much better use of alt text!

Creating Alt Texts in ThinkReservations

There are four places within your ThinkReservations account where you likely have images visible in the Booking Engine. You can now add alt text to these images to ensure screen readers can share the details with your potential guests. These images include your main business image, your room photos, your item photos, and your package photos. Below are the steps for accessing the settings for each: 

  1. Go to Settings > Booking Engine. Add alt text for your business image at the bottom of the page and click Save. 
  2. Go to Settings > Rooms. Click into your first room and scroll to the bottom of the page. Add alt text for each room image and then click Save. Repeat for each room.
  3. Go to Settings > Items. For each item that is upsellable through the Booking Engine, click on the Photo link to the right. Add alt text and click Save.
  4. Go to Settings > Packages. For each package that is upsellable through the Booking Engine, click on the Photo link to the right. Add alt text and click Save.

Resources:

ADA Checklist
ADA Title III Regulations 28 CFR Part 36
28 C.F.R. §36.302(e)
WheelchairTravel Hotels

S
Sean is the author of this solution article.

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