Making data visualizations more accessible

In the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention produced a simple chart to illustrate how measures like mask wearing and social distancing could “flatten the curve” and reduce the peak of infections.

The chart was amplified by news sites and shared on social media platforms, but it often lacked a corresponding text description to make it accessible for blind individuals who use a screen reader to navigate the web, shutting out many of the 253 million people worldwide who have visual disabilities.

This alternative text is often missing from online charts, and even when it is included, it is frequently uninformative or even incorrect, according to qualitative data gathered by scientists at MIT.

Read the full article in MIT News.

By MIT News
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