Making Graphs And Plots Accessible For The Blind

During my computer science masters, there was a need to analyse data through plots. Analysing graphs and plots while blind is near impossible. Unable to see the lines or bars means you rely on sighted assistance or jumping through the data points with a screen reader. Jumping through the data points is easy with 20 or so data points, increase that to 20,000 and things get significantly harder.

With these issues in mind i focussed my dissertation around increasing accessibility to data. Part of the project is an audio plotting system built in python.

The intention was to create a system that was easy and fast to use. Plots can be generated for line, bar and histogram by passing through most data structures. Anything that contains numbers and is itterable will generate an audio stream. Below is a brief video demonstrating a test procedure for line plots.

Currently, the plotting works well under MacOS and Linux, Windows is not currently supported. Windows support is reliant on some core audio modules that are not simple to install. As soon as i find a simple solution I will update the python code to support windows.

You can grab the python module here. Instructions are included in the git repository on how to use the module.

I am happy to continue work on the module if there are any features people require. I hope others find this useful especially in educational settings, as this module enables blind and visual impaired students to generate plots as easily as their sighted counterparts.


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