I've been researching 508-compliance issues and have found remarkably little solid information. Here's what I've gathered from a variety of sources (thank you Emily Todd Kund and Chuck Hooper).
I've also attached a recent VPAT (Voluntary Product Accessibility Template) for Tableau 8.1.
I discussed with a colleague who discussed with someone he believes is knowledgeable in this area.
Two items cover 90%, they are:
1. Is everything accessible by keyboard? ( blind people don't use mice)
2. Is the relevant information decipherable by a screen reader? (Alt-Tags for relevant info trying to convey)
If you can answer yes to these two questions you can successfully argue yes, compliant.
Note that the equivalent of ALT tags in this case would be tooltips.
You can also offer an alternative viz that presents your data as a text table / cross tab. This will definitely be readable by a screen reader such as JAWS.
I also found some useful guidelines at http://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/36/1194.21.
VPAT Tableau 8 1 2014.pdf 282.7 KB
Thank you for quick response! We're familiar with formatting websites to be 508 complaint but this is our first experience using Tableau software,
I agree with your assessment of offering an alternative visualization that would be compatible with JAWS. This may be our best option in this case and it appears after further research that other government agencies have pursued this route.
Is there a direct link available to Tableau VPAT document? I think it will help as we don't have to update copy each time for our internal reference and simply point to the reference source as it will be also be updated for different version.
There's been a number of forum posts about 508 and WCAG compliance, although no simple solutions have been developed on the Tableau side. The best alt-text solution I've heard about is offering the ability to download the viz as a pdf, then setting the alt-text up in Adobe. While this negates the benefit of dynamic interactivity, there are a number of ways you can prepare adobe documents for compliance. Depending on the type of visualization you're presenting, it may work out for you.
Zi, any update on the VPAT for 10.2? Searching high and low led me to this thread. Thx...
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We do have a new VPAT for 10.2, but it's not published on the web. Reach out to your rep and they'll be able to get you a copy.
Tableau users can create and publish dashboards and vizzes to Tableau Server/Online/Public that are 508 compliant (our VPAT documents the issues) when the author follows the documented guidelines and uses only accessible elements in the dashboards/vizzes. So our Section 508 stance is about the content, not the tool itself.
See our official site here where the VPAT is posted and kept updated: