Interactive graphs for blind and print disabled people

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useR!2017: Interactive graphs for blind and print d...

Keywords: accessibility, exploration, interactivity
Descriptions of graphs using long text strings are difficult for blind people and others with print disabilities to process; they lack the interactivity necessary to understand the content and presentation of even the simplest statistical graphs. Until very recently, R has been the only statistical software that has any capacity for offering the print disabled community any hope of support with respect to accessing graphs. We have levered off the ability to create text descriptions of graphs and the ability to create interactive web content for chemical diagrams to offer a new user experience.
We will present the necessary tools that (1) produce the desired graph in the correct form of a scalable vector graphic (SVG) file, (2) create a supporting XML structure for exploration of the SVG, and (3) the javascript library to support these files being mounted on the web.
Demonstration of how a blind user can explore the graph by "walking" a tree-like structure will be given. A key enhancement is the ability to explore the content at different levels of understanding; the user chooses to hear either the bare basic factual description or a more descriptive layer of feedback that can offer the user insight.





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