accessibility for hearing impaired


Accessibility is something we talk about frequently in the context of data visualization: we should make our visualizations accessible for our audience. For me, this word has a couple meanings. First, I think of accessibility as making things easy on our audience—using a graph that makes sense, taking intentional steps to make it clear where to look, putting words around our visuals both so our audience knows exactly what they are looking at and also to answer the question “so what?”. But there is another level of accessibility: designing for those who have different innate abilities than we do.

Sight is the sense that we tend to associate most with data visualization. It is visual, so this makes sense. Not everyone sees the same, which leads to considerations in how we use color and contrast, for example. Amy Cesal penned a great guest SWD post on this topic last year, outlining 5 ways we can make our data visualizations more visually accessible.

I’m excited to announce some ways that we are making our offerings at storytelling with data more accessible in a totally different way: for those having hearing impairment. We’ll be offering real-time closed captioning at the upcoming Milwaukee public workshop (details & registration). We’ve also been busily transcribing the podcast, both for those for whom it’s easier to read than listen, as well as those who’d simply rather read than listen. Transcripts are currently available for the non-interview podcast episodes:

Transcripts can also be accessed through the podcast page. The remaining episodes are in the transcription queue, so please stay tuned for those.

Consider: how can you make what you do more accessible for your audience?