3Q: Collaborating with users to develop accessible designs

Thursday, March 12, 2020 - 23:40 in Mathematics & Economics

Academic researchers and others have long struggled with making data visualizations accessible to people who are blind. One technological approach has been 3D printing tactile representations of data, in the form of raised bar graphs and line charts. But, often, the intended users have little say in the actual design process, and the end result isn’t as effective as planned. A team of MIT researchers hopes to fix that. They used a collaborative project with staff and students at the Perkins School for the Blind as a case study of the accessible design process, and generated a list of “sociotechnical” considerations to guide researchers in similar work. A paper detailing the work appears in the journal IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics. Co-authors Alan Lundgard, a graduate student in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS); Crystal Lee, a graduate student in the Program in Science, Technology,...

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