[Athen] Tableau visualizations

Kathleen Cahill kcahill at mit.edu
Fri Apr 13 05:59:22 PDT 2018

Hi Colleagues,

I said that I would post my findings on Tableau data visualizations and accessibility once our staff met with one of our IT Staff who works on Tableau. Some of the details are code-related but here is his feedback below, prefaced by my comments. I think what we’re realizing is that it’s important to include descriptions of what the visualizations are representing, that is, to include text that describes trends that the data visualizations are showing since a screen reader user will not be able to intuit the graphs or visualizations via screen reader.

Info from our Tableau programmer:

I read through the Accessibility guide for Tableau:

I learned several things:
1. Dashboards that contain less than 1000 “marks” or dashboards created with ?render=true are client-side rendered. Those are supposed to be WCAG-conformant, versus server side-rendered dashboards. Therefore, I suggest you tell IR to put ?render=true on the urls they are using for their visualizations.
2. Tableau has a set of keyboard controls. They are described here:https://onlinehelp.tableau.com/current/pro/desktop/en-us/access_keyboard_navigation.html.
I suggest web accessibility staff read them and tell us if they make any sense to them. If so, you may want to have that link put in as accessible help.
3. According to Tableau:
"The view toolbar is not currently supported for conformance, so you need to hide it in the embedded view. To hide the view toolbar, set the toolbar parameter in the embed code to no. For example:
<param name='toolbar' value='no' />"
4. They have a color blindness palette. Customer might want to use it.
5. Other than these recommendations, their basic advice is to make dashboards simpler, clearer, with more aggregation, more explanation text and clearer options. In other words, basic usability.

In conclusion, I saw no magic bullet but we should test if anything changes when IR uses “?render=true” in their URLs and we might want to test the keyboard controls.

I hope this helps,

Kathy Cahill
Associate Dean, Accessibility and Usability
MIT Office of the Vice Chancellor
77 Mass. Ave. 7-143
Cambridge MA 02139
kcahill at mit.edu<mailto:kcahill at mit.edu>
(617) 253-5111

From: athen-list <athen-list-bounces at mailman13.u.washington.edu> on behalf of Lucy Greco <lgreco at berkeley.edu>
Reply-To: Access Network <athen-list at u.washington.edu>
Date: Tuesday, March 27, 2018 at 2:36 PM
To: Access Network <athen-list at u.washington.edu>
Subject: Re: [Athen] Tableau visualizations

hello: i would also love to see what you find thanks

Lucia Greco
Web Accessibility Evangelist
IST - Architecture, Platforms, and Integration
University of California, Berkeley
(510) 289-6008 skype: lucia1-greco
Follow me on twitter @accessaces

On Tue, Mar 20, 2018 at 8:17 AM, Kathleen Cahill <kcahill at mit.edu<mailto:kcahill at mit.edu>> wrote:
Hi Sharon,

We are evaluating accessibility of some Tableau visualizations currently with one of our departments. We’d be happy to share some information. We’re meeting with a developer in our IT department who works on Tableau and can follow up with information after that.


Kathy Cahill
Associate Dean, Accessibility and Usability
MIT Office of Undergraduate Education
77 Mass. Ave. 7-143
Cambridge MA 02139
kcahill at mit.edu<mailto:kcahill at mit.edu>
(617) 253-5111<tel:(617)%20253-5111>

From: athen-list <athen-list-bounces at mailman13.u.washington.edu<mailto:athen-list-bounces at mailman13.u.washington.edu>> on behalf of Sharon M Trerise <smtreris at syr.edu<mailto:smtreris at syr.edu>>
Reply-To: Access Network <athen-list at u.washington.edu<mailto:athen-list at u.washington.edu>>
Date: Tuesday, March 20, 2018 at 9:15 AM
To: Access Network <athen-list at u.washington.edu<mailto:athen-list at u.washington.edu>>
Subject: [Athen] Tableau visualizations

The last discussion I can find in the ATHEN archives is from 2015. My understanding is that the latest version of Tableau implemented some significant accessibility improvements.

Does anyone have recommendations for creating accessible visualizations with Tableau? I’ve found significant issues with screen reader access when trying to read data visualizations. Even though the data points appear in text on mouseover, they don’t seem to be available to the screen reader.

Does anyone have experience with Narratives for Tableau (https://narrativescience.com/Partners/Business-Intelligence/Tableau) which claims to create automated explanations of the visualizations?



Sharon Trerise | IT Accessibility Support Services
Information Technology Services
1-234 CST
Syracuse University
Syracuse, New York 13244
t 315.443.2143<tel:(315)%20443-2143> e smtreris at syr.edu<mailto:smtreris at syr.edu> w its.syr.edu<http://its.syr.edu/>

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