Accessible Info Graphics
Welcome! This website is dedicated to spreading information about the research going on at NC State University on the accessibility of information graphics (InfoGraphics for short) for blind and low vision users. Our system is called TIKISI, which stands for Touch It, Key It, Speak It. TIKISI is a multimodal way of exploring graphical information in an eyes-free fashion. Our research group is in the Department of Computer Science, and is lead by Dr. Robert St. Amant.
If you'd like to stay informed about or discuss the accessibility of infographics, then please check out our contact page to join our announce or discussion mailing lists, as well as find out about how to connect with us on social media.
What Are InfoGraphics?
Information graphics or infographics are graphic visual representations of information, data or knowledge. These graphics present complex information quickly and clearly, such as in signs, maps, journalism, technical writing, and education. With an information graphic, computer scientists, mathematicians, and statisticians develop and communicate concepts using a single symbol to process information.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Information_graphics
What's This Whole Accessibility Thing?
Accessibility focuses on enabling a particular user group; such as those with vision impairment, motor disabilities, cognitive disabilities, or other functional limitations to access information or services that they may not otherwise be able to access due to a functional limitation. For example, if one is in a wheelchair, then ramps leading up to buildings are very useful as they prevent the necessity of navigating stairs. By way of the same example, we can see the benefits of universal design, because even though those ramps may have been put in there for those in wheelchairs or with other physical disabilities, parents with strollers make heavy use of them, as do folks at airports with heavy luggage on wheels.
Why Make InfoGraphics Accessible?
We are presented with infographics on a daily basis. From maps in geography to function plots in mathematics; from flow charts in biology to combinatorial graphs in computer science, we use infographics to convey complex ideas, visualize data, allow us to analyze hidden or complicated relationships, and so much more. However, if one is unable to see these infographics, then this can present a significant hurdle to understanding and exploring these concepts. This website aims to share the research we're conducting at NC State University to address these problems, first for users who have visual impairment, and hopefully, by the principles of universal design, for others as well.
Great, So What Are The Specifics?
We're considering multiple areas of infographics in our research. We have working prototypes for some, and we are still hard at work discovering interaction techniques, developing computer vision algorithms, and devising novel solutions for others. The areas we are currently concentrating on are listed below. Have ideas or areas you'd like to see explored? Email us at info@AccessibleInfographics.com!
What's This Whole TIKISI Thing?
TIKISI is the name of the system we're working on to give blind and low vision users access to graphical information. It currently supports multitouch input, keyboard input, and speech input. For output, TIKISI supports visual and speech output, and we're very interested in working on Braille output as well; for example, to bluetooth braille displays, but this depends on what platform TIKISI is run on e.g. IOS, Android, Desktop, etc.