Data Visualization Toolkit: Dashboards Accessibility Tips

Dashboard icon

A dashboard is useful for displaying timely information on key variables that can be seen on one page or screen. A dashboard connects the viewer to the information, and when that information changes so does the dashboard; this time delay can be seconds, every quarter, or yearly, but you shouldn’t have to create a new dashboard when you need updated information. Dashboards can include information on one child, one school/program, an entire system, or a combination, and they are useful for measuring progress.

Dashboards Accessibility Tips

Dashboards include graphs, charts and other displays that need to be made accessible to all users including users with disabilities. Accessibility considerations for dashboards generally emphasize providing multiple and adjustable ways to access information, and clear guidance for users through the use of headers and labels. The Web Accessibility Initiative published Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 that include multiple considerations related to dashboards and other web content, some of which have been listed below:

  • Ensure all user interface components are compatible with assistive technologies.
  • Provide alternative text (alt text) for all non-text graphics so that content can be changed into other forms such as braille or large print, and used by assistive technology such as screen readers.
  • Use headings and labels to describe the content and its purpose; use section headings to organize content.
  • Provide a meaningful sequence for content, if applicable, so that the content of the dashboard can be read in the appropriate sequence using assistive technology.
  • Avoid using color as the only way of conveying or distinguishing information.
  • Provide unlimited time or make time adjustable for all users.
  • Provide a way to identify the meaning of all acronyms and other less common words and phrases.