Publication

AutoVizuA11y: a Tool to Automate Screen Reader Accessibility in Charts

Diogo Duarte, Rita Costa, Pedro Bizarro, and Carlos Duarte

Published at EuroVis 2024

Data Visualization

Abstract

Charts remain widely inaccessible on the web for users of assistive technologies like screen readers. This is, in part, due to data visualization experts still lacking the experience, knowledge, and time to consistently implement accessible charts. As a result, screen reader users are prevented from accessing information and are forced to resort to tabular alternatives (if available), limiting the insights that they can gather. We worked with both groups to develop AutoVizuA11y, a tool that automates the addition of accessible features to web-based charts. It generates human-like descriptions of the data using a large language model, calculates statistical insights from the data, and provides keyboard navigation between multiple charts and underlying elements.

Fifteen screen reader users interacted with charts made accessible with AutoVizuA11y in a usability test, thirteen of which praised the tool for its intuitive design, short learning curve, and rich information. On average, they took 66 seconds to complete each of the eight analytical tasks presented and achieved a success rate of 89%. Through a SUS questionnaire, the participants gave AutoVizuA11y an “Excellent” score — 83.5/100 points. We also gathered feedback from two data visualization experts who used the tool. They praised the tool availability, ease of use and functionalities, and provided feedback to add AutoVizuA11y support for other technologies in the future.

Materials
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Page printed in 23 Jun 2024. Plase see https://research.feedzai.com/publication/autovizua11y-a-tool-to-automate-screen-reader-accessibility-in-charts for the latest version.