E-Text Charts

Charts help readers better understand quantitative information, by illustrating the relationships among data or showing trends over time.  Making charts accessible can help not only people with disabilities, but also non-visual learners.

Since charts are non-textual representations of information, like images, they require text equivalents to describe the content.  The use of colors and shapes to convey information in charts can present problems as well.  Best practices for creating charts address the special challenges of conveying data relationships and trends in an accessible manner.

Best Practice

  • Provide text equivalents for all non-text elements.
  • Supplement color coding of charts with texture, differences in line style, text in graphs, or monochrome shades to improve accessibility for color blind readers.
  • Use the applications insert or create chart functions, when possible.
  • Provide an accompanying text data table (not a part of the chart image).

Benefits to Users & Developers

  • Provides readers with multiple ways to grasp the information conveyed by a chart.
  • Allows developers to explore different ways to convey insights into data relationships and trends.

Tutorials

  • Writing effective Text Equivalents
  • Use of Color in Charts and Graphs
  • Inserting Charts in Microsoft Word
  • Inserting Charts in Pages
  • Chart examples in LaTeX

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