Some question askers post an image of a text that their question is about instead of transcribing the text. (Recent example: Analaysing/Interpreting MALAYALAM poem written by my friend.) This has several downsides:
- The text is inaccessible to blind users who rely on a screen reader to convert text into speech or Braille. Screen readers can deal with text but not directly with images. (Images included in questions or answers require a text alternative.
- The text cannot be rendered in other fonts or colour combinations for people with other visual impairments, such as people who need a lower contrast or, conversely, a higher contrast than the combination of text and background colours in the image.
- The text may get pixelated when enlarged by people who require magnification to use a computer.
- The text cannot be rendered in other fonts for people who rely on specific fonts for readability (for reasons other than visual impairments).
- The text cannot be reflowed to retain its readability on very small screens (especially on smartphones) or when viewed with screen magnification (on normal computer screens).
In short, posting text as an image instead of characters constitutes an exclusionary practice. For this reason, I propose that we use it as a reason to close to close the question and that quetions closed for this reason require a transcription of the text before the question can be reopened.
This question is not about questions where posting an image is valid. For example, questions about certain aspects of physical books may require an image to explain what the question is actually about. See for example the images in Why does this Tintin album not have a printing number?, Meaning of "C.P." footnote, What are these pink papers with book text written on them?. Answering these question requires examination of certain physical or visual features; many of these are also tagged with physical-books. The images in these question don't need to be replaced with text; instead they need a proper text alternative (or "description" in SE jargon). See the somewhat related question Please include descriptions of your images.
My question is specifically about questions where no information is lost when the image of the text is replaced by a full transcript.
- Why not upload images of code/errors when asking a question? on Stack Overflow. (On Stack Overflow, accessibility is admittedly not the primary reason to ban images of code, but screen reader access is listed as one of the arguments against it.)
- Why are images of text, code and mathematical expressions discouraged? on Meta Stack Exchange.
Update: In the past, we have sometimes transcribed images of text for the OP. However, this is only possible if other users with editing privileges are familiar with the language and script in the image. However, you can only transcribe the text in an image if you have sufficient vision. So making a distinction based on language is still not truly inclusive.