Coyote: Describing Images

2010s Accessibility Design Publications

To provide people who are blind or have vision impairment with access to the rich content of the MCA's website, the digital team built Coyote, a web-based tool that allows volunteers from around the museum to write visual descriptions of the 10,000+ online images.

Coyote started as this way of solving a problem we encountered when talking about the website: MCA is making a new website. We have a lot of images—10,000, 15,000 undescribed images. How do we solve this accessibility problem? We can think, "Oh, well, let's just make a field in the content management system and put a description in it." But that doesn't take into account short descriptions and long descriptions, or multiple descriptions, or the idea that this is content just like anything else and deserves to be subject to the same rigorous copyediting workflow that the other content that the museum creates. So, as a result, Coyote was born. So it's this web application. It offers this workflow for everybody in the museum that wants to be able to describe images, to be able to.

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