What level of vision impairment are you trying to address? Based on your experience here in the forums, I don't think color blindness is an issue as you would be familiar with the things Tableau has available in that regard. Does the data need to be interactive with hands? Is any visual helpful?
I reached out to one of the Zen's that has some history/experience in this regard so let's see if that generates ideas as well.
This is a great topic and could use some exploration as I haven't encountered the topic much in the forums but have an interest in as well.
Hi Patrick, we're developing Tableau dashboards for general public consumption so the client is worried about general vision impairment, but it breaks down into:
colour blindness - we've optimised for this already
actual blindness - we're trying to cover this off now.
A screen reader like NVDA (free download) works well with websites and other documents, but doesn't read the Tableau content at all.
I'm after a way to make this work
There are definitely somethings you can do to help. Some are "in the box", but usually to extend Tableau's capabilities you have to go "outside the box".
Some thoughts around user experience (UX).
- Dyslexic users may benefit from installing a font like http://opendyslexic.org/
- I disagree that Tableau is "optomised for color blindness". I usually defer people to this: http://www.somersault1824.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/color-blindness-palette.png and I should build a TPS file, but I just don't have time.
- Font scaling/SVG support could help. Many of Tableau's mark types aren't vectors. This would solve two problems: 1) Truly responsive design (no need for Device Specific Dashboards, just make everything "automatic" and scale 2) Visually impaired users could zoom in without any concerns over distortion.
- Use android devices with haptic feedback Example here: Haptic Feedback and 4 Dimensions could be adapted further for visually impaired (feel your data).
- Use TTS and Voice Recognition to drive the viz Data + Science
- and so much more. You can even set up gesture control for users that can't use a standard keyboard/mouse combination.
However. There is one fact that you can't remove. Data visualization has a dependency: sight. But we have a LOT of other senses that you can leverage. Help you explore your data...even if you can't see it.
Allan - Thank you for all the great resources and thoughts.
Thanks for the reply, but it's more the "blindness" aspect that I'm trying to cover. Our tableau dashboards are embedded in a webpage and a screen reader will read everything on the webpage, the textboxes in the dashboard but NOT the actual viz or the tooltips.
Unfortunately exporting to PNG and voice annotation is not an option at this stage either
I have the same issue making a tableau output accessible to those who are blind. Have you been successful in this matter?
I have to agree with Allan:
Data visualization has a dependency: sight.
I haven't researched this aspect at all -- so I am admitting ignorance -- but how does software 'describe' a graph, say, a heat chart? I'm thinking a mouse is worthless so tooltips would be difficult to communicate as well.
It's like using words to describe the orchestral opening of Star Wars to a person who's been deaf since birth. Some things are not possible (if they were then my wife would've made sure I gave birth to our second child ).
This sounds like a job for one of the MIT labs. Remember these pin 'sculptures'?
Hook one up to a computer and you could get a tactile bar chart. Add a braille strip around the edges for labels, and you've a whole new category Data Feelization! Certainly would keep the chart junk to a minimum.
Toby Erkson, "vision impaired" doesn't necessarily mean blind, and vision impaired people use the internet and read books every day - via the screen reader/s that I mentioned in the opening post.
To experience it, download the screen reader, enable it, then close your eyes and navigate the world. Tableau does do something stuff via a screen reader, just not everything.