Image Description

Image Description volunteers advance the accessibility of the Bookshare collection by describing images in textbooks and childrens' books, using our open-source Poet Image Description tool developed by our DIAGRAM Center. Since we launched Poet in 2012, our volunteers have described tens of thousands of images in Bookshare books, thus significantly improving the learning experience for Bookshare members with visual disabilities.

Image Description Quick Start Guide

Note: Google Chrome is the most compatible browser with Poet

  1. Sign-up at Bookshare to become a Bookshare volunteer
  2. Get a Poet account: Register for Poet, an open-source image description tool
  3. Contact us to obtain a Book ID number.
  4. Start Describing:
  • Sign-in to Poet
  • Enter the Book ID number (obtain from Bookshare staff or representative)
  • Note how to navigate images:
  • Select an image from the sidebar to describe
  • Mark if the image should be described (default is “yes”)
  • Select the “type” of image and follow instructions for that specific type. If unsure of the type, select “none”
  • Select “Add Description” and describe the image based the instructions for the type and/or on your assessment of its relevance to the text. Ask yourself,
  • “What is the point of the image?”
  • “What information will be lost if not included in a description?”

      5. Save: remember to click “Save” before moving to the next image

      6. Tips

  • Be brief
  • Be objective. Let the student make interpretations
  • Begin with the overview, then move to the specifics
  • Remember your audience. Keep grade-level in mind. Avoid using metaphors/colors that may be irrelevant to someone who is sight-impaired.