May 1, 2023
1 min read

Breaking Barriers: Making Data Visualizations Accessible and Inclusive

PlotSet teamwriter

As a strong tool for communicating information and insights to people, data visualization has gained its rightful place among people who work and interact with data. However, data visualization in the traditional sense may not be as accessible as one would hope for those with some forms of disabilities, like people with no or low vision. 

Let's explore ways to make visualizations inclusive and accessible to everyone.

Provide alternative text descriptions

Screen readers guide people who are blind or have low vision to access information on a computer screen. By providing alternative text descriptions for data visualizations, you can optimize screen readers' functions. Drawing a new chart or graph? Don't forget to include a relevant text description.

Use high-contrast colors

Distinguishing between colors that are similar may be a bit difficult for people with visual impairments. That is why you should avoid using colors that are difficult to differentiate. It's better to use colors with high contrast, such as black and white or dark blue and light yellow.

Use distinguishable fonts

Using fonts that are easy to read makes reading so much easier for people with dyslexia or other learning disabilities. Sans-serif fonts, such as Arial and Verdana, are easier to read than serif fonts, such as Times New Roman.

Provide alternative formats

In addition to the data visualization, it would be nice to include an alternative format for your data that can be easily read on a screen reader. You can also provide an audio description of your visualization.

Making data visualization accessible for people with disabilities requires careful consideration and attention to detail. It might take a few more minutes to take the necessary steps; nevertheless, inclusion is absolutely fundamental to success.

Not sure which visualization suits your data? Read the following blog: A Beginner's Guide to Choosing the Right Chart for Your Data

We, the PlotSet team, are enthusiastic to spice up your storytelling world using data visualization, and we will show you how to do so through various blogs. If you’re into data journalism or you just want to present your data to an audience, we strongly suggest taking a look at what we have prepared for you here. Enjoy reading!

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