508 Compliance Haikus

At Campaign Consultation we have two very strange passions. The first is for haikus of any sort, the second is for 508 compliance.  We love spending quiet afternoons carefully tagging, checking, and ensuring every document, presentation, and website is accessible. We find the process soothing, important, and even a little bit entertaining.

For those not in the know, Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act requires Federal agencies to make their digital resources accessible to people with disabilities. That means making sure videos have captions for hear impaired, websites can be easily read by screen readers for the blind, and other measures to ensure all Americans can access critical information found online. One part of the 508 compliance process is to provide alternative text for all images to ensure the message you intended your audience to get from the image is clear to those who cannot see. We have an internal office competition to see who can write the best alternative text that describes the information the image is conveying in a concise way. Alternative text should be short, about a sentence, and yet clearly describe the image. They say a image is worth a 1,000 words but often time you really have to get to the core of what the image is trying to convey in 10 words or less.

Haikus seem like a perfect fit for this task since they are also short and simple, yet they convey so much. Therefore we’ve put our staff to work with a fun creative competition combining our creativity and dedication to accessibility.

The Challenge: Choose an image from your work and write alternative text form of a haiku.

The Criteria:  Since the point of this is not only to stretch the limits of creativity but also ensure 508 accessibility, haikus will be based on clarity. Does the haiku answer the question “what information is the image conveying?” If you take away the image, can you easily conjure up the visual from using the text alone?

The Results: 


Gonzo in a boat
With the chickens he hangs with
And a pirate hat


Triumphant baby
Tiny fist joyfully raised
He has beaten you


Mind mapping gig
To visualize success
Brings great energy

head hands

Women sits with head
Cradled in hands tired of toil
Meeting much too long


Five-oh-eight for minds
give poised imaginings for