OCAD University Open Research Repository

Iconic Properties are Lost when Translating Visual Graphics to Text for Accessibility

Coppin, Peter, Li, Abrose and Carnevale, Michael (2016) Iconic Properties are Lost when Translating Visual Graphics to Text for Accessibility. Cognitive Semiotics. (Submitted)


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For many blind and low-vision individuals, accessing charts and graphs often means
accessing a text description of the graphics, usually aurally. However, in doing so, parts
of the charts that are not originally conveyed textually are lost in the translation into text.
By synthesizing ideas from the science and philosophy of perception and cognition,
diagrammatic reasoning, and semiotics, this essay makes the case that translating charts
into text descriptions results in the loss of iconic properties of the graphics, and proposes
that non-linguistic sonification can be recruited to preserve such properties. The essay
concludes by proposing how predictions based on this synthesis can inform design.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Graphic representation, diagrammatic representation, sentential representation, pictorial representation, symbolic representation, iconic representation, graphic-linguistic distinction, iconic-symbolic distinction, semiotics, cognitive semiotics, cognitive science, cognitive neuroscience
Divisions: Faculty of Design
Faculty of Design > Industrial Design
Graduate Studies > Inclusive Design
Research Labs > Perceptual Artifacts Lab (PAL)
Date Deposited: 06 Jul 2016 19:46
Last Modified: 14 Sep 2022 13:30
URI: https://openresearch.ocadu.ca/id/eprint/1035

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