Accessible Data Visualization: Addressing Barriers and Implementing Section 508 Solutions

Tuesday, May 24, 2022
1:00 PM - 2:30 PM Eastern Time Zone


In the Digital Age, data visualizations have become more commonly developed to represent large data sets through graphics, charts, and other visuals. Federal agencies have used them to show patterns, trends, and outliers of data to inform members of the public, policy makers, and first-responders. This session will introduce the concept, development, tools, and benefits of data visualizations, including making them accessible. Presenters from the U.S. Department of Education, the Center for Disease Control, and the U.S. Census will discuss how their respective agencies use data visualizations to meet their missions. Presenters will also review some barriers, solutions, and implications to making accessible data visualizations. This session is intended for entry-level to intermediate audiences, but all are welcome to join. This webinar will include video remote interpreting (VRI) and real-time captioning. Questions can be submitted in advance of the session or can be posed during the live webinar.

Continuing Education Recognition Available

Certificate Credit hours
Certificate of Attendance 1.5


Tamara Perry, JD, PhD, Attorney, National Digital Access Team, Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education

Mark D. Urban, CDC Accessibility Program Manager (HHS) , Centers for Disease Control (CDC)

David Whittington, Section 508 Subject Matter Expert, U.S. Census Bureau

Questions for presenters:

1 If there is no technologically feasible way to make a chart with tens of thousands of data points accessible, is it acceptable to provide an alternate format for the data such as an export function or a sonification function that provides equivalent access to the data?
2 Will you be covering maps and data from maps? Interested to better understand best practices on how to make map data accessible in and outside of the map.
3 How useful are data sonifications? When are they considered art and/or when are they useful from an accessibility standpoint?
4 I run a website at NOAA that delivers 1 million+ satellite images per day to the public. We put programmatically generated alt & title text on each image. The alt text is very specific metadata for each image: the geographic region shown, the satellite that is the source of the image, the channel of information shown, and the time of the image. But the content of satellite images isn't being described, per se: there's really no way to do that for content that is comes off a satellite data feed every few seconds! Is there actually an expectation that alt text describe things like these satellite images specifically - like "There are clouds over the middle of the country, and a weather front over the coast of Maine... etc." ? Please discuss.
5 Hi, we are using Tableau as our data visualization tool. Do you have any specific tableau settings or suggestions that we can use to make our data visualization dashboards as accessible as possible?
6 Hi, What is the best approach to make visualized data accessible in Tableau tool?

Session Questions

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