[Athen] Chart Accessibility

Emma Cliffe E.H.Cliffe at bath.ac.uk
Tue Dec 15 03:42:54 PST 2015

Someone in the field is key as I think this is a phase diagram or similar (e.g.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phase_diagram - I can't see it well enough to be sure!) in which there are regions which can be defined in a 'big picture' which would work as a tactile diagram, perhaps with a very limited amount of the detail added. This would give important context and for some activities could be enough but there may well be tasks in which specific curves need to be followed or values need to be read off?

Kind regards,

On 14/12/15 22:12, Madeleine Rothberg wrote:
I agree with Gaeir that the most important thing is to find out from someone in that field, such as a TA or the prof, what the intended use of the diagrams is. Will the student need to pull off specific values, or just understand the general trends and what makes one graph different from the other? If the former, you need a serious solution such as a table of values, a searchable excel file, or maybe a tactile, but if the latter, an expertly-written long description may be adequate.


From: Gaeir Dietrich <gdietrich at htctu.net<mailto:gdietrich at htctu.net>>
Organization: htctu
Reply-To: "<mailto:gdietrich at htctu.net>gdietrich at htctu.net<mailto:gdietrich at htctu.net>" <gdietrich at htctu.net<mailto:gdietrich at htctu.net>>, Access Technology Higher Education Network <<mailto:athen-list at u.washington.edu>athen-list at u.washington.edu<mailto:athen-list at u.washington.edu>>
Date: Monday, December 14, 2015 4:53 PM
To: 'Access Technology Higher Education Network' <athen-list at u.washington.edu<mailto:athen-list at u.washington.edu>>
Subject: Re: [Athen] Chart Accessibility

Hi Jason,

With graphs like these, it is important to understand what information is really important. In other words, is it possible to simplify the information shown? My guess is that these graphics lend themselves to multiple sheets for a single graphic. One tactile would be the “overview,” providing the overall shape of the curves without a lot of the detail of the measurements. If the specific measurements are needed, then other graphics in sections would be useful.

It’s good to realize that, many times, a lot of information is included in visual graphics simply because it can be. Often much of it can be simplified. You may need to speak with a content-area expert to understand exactly what the graphic is attempting to convey.

Also remember that sometimes, for a student who is not that comfortable with tactile graphics, a simplified graphic with sighted support to describe the detail may be a good option.

And, as John said, you can always make the graphic itself talk, which may be the best of both worlds.

There are a lot of great resources available now for helping you to develop tactile graphics. Some of my favorites are shown below.

The BANA Tactile Graphics guidelines have very good information on how to create tactile graphics:

Also, the DIAGRAM project from Bookshare has a very nice sample book:

Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired has some nice basic information—especially on using Word to draw maps:
I hope this helps!
Gaeir (rhymes with "fire") Dietrich
HTCTU Director

From: athen-list [<mailto:athen-list-bounces at mailman13.u.washington.edu>mailto:athen-list-bounces at mailman13.u.washington.edu] On Behalf Of Varnado, Jason
Sent: Friday, December 11, 2015 3:29 PM
To: 'athen-list at u.washington.edu<mailto:%27athen-list at u.washington.edu>'
Subject: [Athen] Chart Accessibility

Good afternoon,
We have a student in mechanical engineering who is fully blind, she has been going along fine for some time (she’s a junior now), but we have run up against the attached charts. Any ideas on how to pull something like this off without making a 10 foot by 15 foot tactile chart?
Thank you!

Jason Varnado
Associate Director, Disability Access
Center for Student Academic Success

Foley Center Library, Suite 209
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