Data visualization cares disproportionately far too much about designing for colorblindness relative to other disabilities that are more common (visual impairments included).

(A thread on disability, race, and patriarchy in data visualization.)
~4.5% of people with northern European ancestry are colorblind. But less than half of a percent of women are.

This means that nearly 8% of men from a northern European background have some form of colorblindness.

*Colorblindness affects WHITE MEN the most.*
Why does this matter?

Because designers, scientists, and engineers in our field continue to produce palettes, guides, research, and tools for dealing with colorblindness when visualizing data.

But where are tools and resources for all the other kinds of disabilities out there?!
Why do we have far more resources for dealing with colorblindness (<4% global rate) than low vision, which affects just over 30% of people?

I'd reckon it all started in academia...
Academic discourse on scientific visualization and color perception (alongside computer science) is decades old.

I'm sure there is a paper waiting to be written about the demographics of peer reviewers, but I can guess they were mostly white men.

Ask: WHO was this science for?
While the origins of the imbalance here might be conjecture (because who has asked these questions yet?), it should not be a surprise that we have more resources on accessibility for a very specific disability of white men than virtually every other major disability.
So now what??

My solution is simple:
Prioritize more discourse, research, guides, palettes, and tools that help with other functional disabilities and disabled communities.

And please stop writing about colorblindness in visualization. We have enough of those blogs already!
Resources we could use more of (1/?):
Low vision (~30% of all people):
- High contrast text
- High contrast elements
- Using texture, shape, units
- Designing with zoom/magnification
- Using Hierarchy and Focus
- Using annotations or guides
Resources we could use more of (2/?):
Functional/motor impairment (~13% of all people in US):
- Keyboard interactivity/navigation
- UI alternatives to in-chart controls (brushing, subselecting, etc)
- Alternative data navigation schemes
- Scrollytelling alternates
Resources we could use more of (3/?):
Cognitive disability (~11% of all people in US):
- Captions, summaries, clear titles, and plain text alternatives
- Reducing visual complexity
- Forgivable user interactions
- Use of hierarchy
- Assistive design (how-to-read guides, help)
Resources we could use more of (4/?):
Attention deficit/hyperactive disorder (~9% of all people in US):
- Clear, short text summaries
- Object constancy
- Motion design and animation
- Use of breadcrumbs
- Interaction history (with undo/redo functions)
Anyway, the list goes on. These are just a few!

Black, disabled people in the south are ESPECIALLY (disproportionately) excluded from the design of equitable data systems! Include them!

If data is really so important, why is it only accessible for a select few?
It is time for data visualization to grow up.

Okay this is getting a little traction already! So come to my talk on Accessibility and Data Visualization with @LareneLg and @liatrisbian at @OutlierConf!

Correction: 13% of people (US) have trouble seeing even with corrective assistance (glasses, etc).

Mild, moderate, and severe low vision (WHO definition and data) affect roughly 1.5-2 billion people globally.

So 30% is too high here! 21-28% is a better range.
30% is too high! I remembered the stats wrong.
2.2 billion affected, up to 1 billion could be prevented.….

13% of Americans report "having trouble seeing" despite having correction…

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More from @FrankElavsky

21 Mar
Unlearning ableism also includes unlearning self-deprecation.

I used to really loathe myself, but trying to come up with words and terms that weren't ableist made me realize that I actually did not know myself very well at all.
I would catch myself wanting to insult myself after a mistake. The only reasonable thing I could replace an ableist slur with was the truth (which is frustratingly unsatisfying).
*ableist slur towards myself*

Which was replaced by

"I hate myself for messing up because I am not good enough" (still ableist)

Then replaced by

"I am mad at myself for making a mistake and I don't like how it feels to make mistakes" (still not good)


"That felt bad"
Read 5 tweets
20 Mar
List 6 jobs you've actually done and one you haven't.

1. Barista
2. Paperboy
3. Paint and trim work contractor
4. Theater stage technician
5. Ancient Greek tutor
6. Assistant chocolatier
Bonus round (one is fake again):

1. Commissioned Artist (traditional, dry medium)
2. Front desk at a toy store
3. Camp counselor
4. Night security
5. Dog groomer
6. Furniture mover/assembler
Omg bonus-bonus round:

1. Student body president in college
2. Community organizer
3. Fundraiser
4. Dorm RA
5. Volunteer for kids after school
6. Student paper editor
Read 5 tweets

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