Paths to Literacy

for students who are blind or visually impaired

Modifying Charts for Students with Visual Impairments

mainstream chart

Charts are often inaccessible to a student with visual impairments.  This page offers some practical tips for modifying charts with some specific examples.

Presentation

  • Clear black outlines on chart
  • Bold used to highlight the chart headings
  • Print and font adapted to child’s print specification
  • Chart left aligned
  • Text well spaced within each section of the chart
  • Reduce visual demand
  • Amount of data reduced whilst still assessing ability to interpret data
  • Pictorial information replaced with text or basic symbols Chart/graph style changed to simpler format
  • If child drawing chart, set up blank table, with printed headings

 

A. Example of Mainstream Chart
charts 1: fruit and number of children: apple 5, banana 8, orange 6, pear 7
Class 1 did a survey of their favorite fruits, here are the results in a chart
 
 
Complete the chart to show the number of pears and bananas
 
chart showing apples bananas oranges and pears
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

B. Example of Modified Version

charts for fruit and number of children apple 5, banana 8, orange 6, pear 7

Class one did a survey of their favorite fruits.
 
The table to the left shows the results.
 
Complete the chart to show the number of bananas and the number of pears.
 
key and chart for fruits
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Principles of modification
  • The question assesses pupils’ ability to interpret data.
  • The modified version retains this assessment whilst reducing the visual demand
  • The shading is removed from the table and the text left aligned
  • The pictogram symbols are replaced with a single, simple symbol The key is moved above the pictogram
  • The font size is enlarged to 18 point ( or to child’s print size)
  • The font type is changed to Arial (or to child’s preferred font)
  • Pupils who are unable to draw a symbol could indicate the number of
  • symbols by writing numbers or instructing an amanuensis.

 

B. Example of Chart, Mainstream Version
 
diagram showing average monthly rainfall in UK for 2005
 
 
 
 
This diagram shows the average monthly rainfall in the UK for 2005.
 
 
 
1. Approximately what is the average monthly rainfall for April?

____________________        

 

 

month and chart of rainfall

1. What is the average monthly rainfall for April?
 
____________________
 
2. In which month is the average rainfall greatest?
 
_____________________
 
 
Principles of modification
The question assesses pupils’ ability to interpret graphs. The modified version retains this assessment whilst reducing the visual demand.
  • The radar chart is replaced with a line graph
  • The amount of data is reduced to present five months in place of twelve
  • months
  • The data point for April is changed to enable pupils to read a point on a grid line
  • The answer boxes are replaced with answer lines
  • The font size is enlarged to 18 point
  • The font type is changed to Arial

top access tips: charts collage

 

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