New Era, Same Problem: Making Visual Content Accessible for Visually Impaired Users

Our presentation responds to evergreen accessibility challenges users with visual impairments experience while interacting with visual information. We offer a theoretical and practical approach to improving access to the current sea of visual content. In our presentation, we discuss using tags, alternative text, and visual content descriptions based on empirical studies of users who are visually impaired. Working from their needs, technical communicators may use visual design and rhetorical analysis practices, employing visual language and design knowledge, to make visual information accessible and useful. We couple this approach with a demonstration from a visual communication class and discuss the deliverable outcomes we observed. In conclusion, our presentation provides attendees with knowledge about the challenges facing users of visual information who are impaired, and an approach that may give us means to make visuals more useful and accessible for these users.
May 16 @ 16:30

Marci J. Gallagher, Philip B. Gallagher