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Sonify: Making Visual Graphs Accessible

  • Safinah AliEmail author
  • Laya Muralidharan
  • Felicia Alfieri
  • Monali Agrawal
  • Jacob Jorgensen
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 1018)

Abstract

Data visualizations are an essential strategy for summarizing and comprehending large datasets. However, it is challenging for visually impaired people (VIP) to access visual representations of data. Current accessibility solutions fall short in providing comprehensive access to such visualizations. Most VIP must listen to datasets one cell at a time with a text-to-speech tool, which does not allow the user to gather the “gist” of the dataset. To address this gap, we designed and evaluated Sonify. Sonify is a sonification tool that makes data visualizations accessible to VIP through audio and tactile interactions on a mobile app. VIP use Sonify’s scrubbing interaction to explore patterns in data through pitch changes in sound. We evaluated Sonify’s interactions through contextual inquiries, with (n = 8) VIP. Through Sonify, we demonstrate how a novel scrubbing interaction technique makes 2-variable linear graphs accessible to a broader range of people, including VIP.

Keywords

Human computer interaction Accessibility Assistive technology Iterative design Human centered design Sonification Usability testing Assistive technology for persons with disabilities 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Safinah Ali
    • 1
    Email author
  • Laya Muralidharan
    • 2
  • Felicia Alfieri
    • 2
  • Monali Agrawal
    • 2
  • Jacob Jorgensen
    • 2
  1. 1.MIT Media LabCambridgeUSA
  2. 2.Human Computer Interaction InstituteCarnegie Mellon UniversityPittsburghUSA

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