Bookmark: "Frank Elavsky on Twitter"

Sebastian Greger

Bookmarked:

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.)

— Frank ⌁ (@FrankElavsky) January 18, 2021

In this Twitter thread (unrolled, archived), Frank Elavsky directs attention to a neglected aspect of common data viz accessibility discussions:

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

While the debate about accessible data visualization hovers a lot around colour palettes (a disability disproportionally affecting white males, as the author highlights), he stresses how other functional disabilities do not get nearly enough attention: low vision, functional/motor impairments, cognitive disabilities, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorders… (see the original thread for an extensive list).

This imbalance, he points out, has an equity component built right into it:

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?

Frank Elavsky further elaborates on this topic in a joint talk at the Outlier 2021 conference.

I'm Sebastian, Sociologist and Interaction Designer. This journal is mostly about bringing toge­ther social science and design for inclusive, privacy-focused, and sustainable "human-first" digital strategies. I also tend to a "digital garden" with carefully curated resources.

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