Alt Text Remains Elusive, The Morningstar Example

Web accessibility issues are certainly easy to find. Calling attention to each one any user encounters would quickly be overwhelming. But every once in a while you come across examples that are just so basic they need to be mentioned.


I’m sure just about everyone has heard of Morningstar, the financial research giant. The company’s star ratings pepper the financial world, with Morningstar ratings being used in any credible financial research source.


In addition to providing data to the financial industry, Morningstar offers research tools directly such as their mutual fund screener.


This screener is filled with examples of missing alt text. The one that caught my attention in particular is the missing alt text on a series of checkboxes for selecting the Morningstar ratings you want to include in your search. Graphics are used along with checkboxes to choose star ratings from 1 to 5. But without any alt text, anyone who is not able to use images, such as screen reading users, only gets to know that there are a series of checkboxes.


One would hope that the bread and butter for which a company is known would get a bit more accessibility attention at some point. Then again as I said web accessibility issues are widespread. No secret I know but this Morningstar example is yet another to add to the collection when trying to illustrate why accessibility, alt text in particular, matters.

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