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Coronavirus Pandemic

Software developer creates coronavirus database for people with vision disabilities

Blind person using computer with braille computer display

Tyler Littlefield, a Boston-based software developer has created a new COVID-19 tracking website meant to be accessible for people who are blind or have low vision.

Called CVStats.net, the site organizes up-to-date COVID-19 data in simple charts specifically designed to be accessible for persons with disabilities, reports Daily Mail.

For Littlefield, and many other people with vision disabilities, trying to stay updated during the COVID-19 pandemic has been a challenge because many of the commonly shared charts and graphs are inaccessible.

‘For many people with various types of disabilities, graphics and the information conveyed in them is hard to read and understand,’ Littlefield told Vice.

‘I believe in the idea of open data, data that everyone can access to help make informed decisions. Finding this lack, I created CVStats to present the data to users in a straightforward way, free of ads, click-through news articles and graphics.’

One of the main obstacles in making COVID-19 information more accessible are the conventions of modern webdesign.

With a profusion of autoplay videos, pop-up windows, and animated inserts, many modern websites make it difficult for braile embossers to scan a webpage and convert its content into a braille printout.

‘Clutter is the enemy of tactical legibility,’ Naomi Rosenberg of the accessibility firm Lighthouse told Vice.

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