Making Graphics Accessible

Vladimir Bulatov and John A. Gardner

ViewPlus Technologies, Inc

Corvallis, OR 97333 USA

ViewPlus will soon complement its current hardware/software product line with a group of SVG applications that make it possible for most kinds of SVG graphical information to be universally usable. SVG permits graphical objects to have title and description attributes. The author of a well-structured object-oriented SVG file needs only to provide meaningful titles for important objects using the ViewPlus SVG Editor in order to make the information fully usable by people who are blind or have other print disabilities.

People with print disabilities can view the SVG file using the accessible SVG Reader that speaks the title attribute when the object is selected. People who are dyslexic or have other print disabilities can gain improved access to the information with the SVG Reader and a mouse or touch screen monitor. Blind users will create a tactile copy of the SVG display by printing to a ViewPlus tactile graphics and braille embosser and then place the copy on a ViewPlus touch pad. The embossed copy is a faithful rendition of the display, so the blind user can locate features and press to hear the titles. This combination of tactual and audio information is known to provide excellent access to graphical information by blind people.