Web Accessibility as Your Competitive Advantage
What are the experts saying?
Industry experts share their view on why companies should focus on accessibility and how Highcharts have become a thought leader within accessible charts.
Will your company be part of this new Accessibility wave, or will you be left behind?
Explore Highcharts Accessibility Features
One of the most well known assistive technologies in use by people with disabilities, a screen reader, is a program that attempts to convey the information on the screen using non-visual methods, such as text-to-speech. If your charts are using the Highcharts Accessibility module, screen reader users can navigate, explore and interact with your charts. It will also help your SEO, as web crawlers can read the information provided for screen readers.
Low Vision Features
With the Accessibility module, Highcharts comes with built-in support for Windows High Contrast Mode. Charts can also be viewed in full screen for additional separation of elements. Pattern fills are supported, as well as premade themes with higher contrast. Custom styles are also supported for all visual elements in the chart, and custom themes can be created. By default, series markers have different shapes to help distinguish between data points without the use of color. Due to the responsive nature of Highcharts, screen zooming tools are well supported.
New since Highcharts version 7.1 is support for voice input software. Similar to keyboard navigation, this is a technology that is beneficial to users with mobility impairments but has potential benefits for all users. Highcharts allows users of voice input software to interact with chart controls such as the chart menu using voice commands. Examples of compatible software include Nuance Dragon, and Microsoft Windows Speech Recognition.
As long as the exporting module is included alongside the Accessibility module, users can download an SVG version of the chart. This SVG can be printed and turned into a tactile graphic using embossing printers or similar technology. Tactile graphics are often used to get an overview of chart layouts, and can be particularly helpful to explore charts with large datasets.
With Highcharts, you can play back the chart as sound. This can be highly effective for conveying trends and patterns quickly without the need for visuals. For more information, see Sonification.
A lot of Highcharts features are developed with the goal of making charts easier to use and understand. This translates to better cognitive accessibility, as well as an improved user experience for all users. Relevant features include tooltips, chart legends, dimming surrounding content on hover, series labels, viewing charts in full screen, and data table support.
All Highcharts generated text content can be translated to different languages, including all text used by the Accessibility module. To set these options, see Highcharts language accessibility.
A collaboration between Elsevier and Highcharts sets a new standard for chart accessibility.
Read about how our collaborations have led to innovations in accessible data visualizations.
Read about how Blackboard is leveraging Highcharts to deal with the accessibility challenge within companies, higher education, and government agencies.