Literary Image Description Best Practices Guide

Learn strategies for writing expressive image descriptions while maintaining current accessibility best practices.

  • Subject(s):

    Image Descriptions

  • Resource Type(s):

    Standards and Best Practices

  • Audience:


Suggested Prerequisite

Before reading this, you might want to read:


The LID (Literary Image Description) Best Practices Guide is an outcome of a collaborative project funded by the Department of Canadian Heritage and led by eBOUND Canada. The aim of the Guide is to offer a more vivid and engaging approach to writing image descriptions in an effort to make art and literature more accessible to all readers everywhere.

The Guide was created in partnership with Accessible Media Inc (AMI), Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB), Centre for Equitable Library Access (CELA), Diaspora Dialogues (DD), and Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU), along with contributions from various organizations and publishers.

English and French versions of the Guide are free to circulate, and available to download below:

Download the Guide in English

Contains PDF and EPUB files.

Download the Guide in French

Contains PDF and EPUB files.

Next Steps


Determining who Can/Should be Tasked with Writing Image Descriptions

Who Should Create Image Descriptions

This resource discusses the options you might have for image description creators/authors. There are many different people that can potentially do this work, and deciding on a person or group is an important step!

Subject(s): Image Descriptions, Strategic Planning
Resource Type(s): Standards and Best Practices

Reviewing Image Descriptions

Guide for Reviewing Image Descriptions

This guide shares a short checklist of items to review when reading or editing image descriptions. Whether you wrote them yourself, or someone else wrote them, this guide will help ensure the quality of descriptions.

Subject(s): Digital Marketing, Ebook Production, Image Descriptions, Website Accessibility
Resource Type(s): Checklist, Standards and Best Practices

Writing Descriptions for Digital Media

Introduction to Writing Alt-text for Digital Media (other than ebooks)

Images used on websites, social media, and other non-book content need image descriptions. The writing guidelines are mostly the same, but there are a few additional things to consider. This Introduction document looks at these,…

Subject(s): Digital Marketing, Image Descriptions
Resource Type(s): Checklist

Want to discuss this resource?