Yahoo Finance App Makes Charts Accessible To The Blind

Yahoo Finance is making its stock charts on iOS and Android apps accessible to the blind and visually impaired. It went live yesterday.

Verizon Media's accessibility team partnered with Yahoo Finance to develop a tool to allow anyone using the app and their device’s screen reader to get that information.

“This project is a huge leap forward in ensuring the insights available to sighted users with a quick glance at a financial graph are as accessible for people with vision impairment,” Joanna Lambert, general manager of finance, tech, autos and membership at Verizon Media, told Publishers Daily.

“With investment and innovation in this area, we have strengthened our commitment to not just being accessible, but truly useful for all," she added.



The tool uses a combination of speech synthesis, musical tones and haptics to communicate visual information on Yahoo Finance through sound and touch, according to Larry Goldberg, head of accessibility at Verizon Media. 

“When the user first lands on the chart, they will hear a short summary to orient them to the chart, including the ticker, time horizon, previous close price, highest and lowest points on the chart," Goldberg said.

The user can then explore the chart by swiping forward or backward to hear data points. They can double tap and hold to drag through the chart to hear the data points under their finger. 

"Musical tones will play to indicate the change in values (trending higher or lower) and haptics can be felt indicating unique data points,” Goldberg added.

“This is a passion project for me," Sukriti Chadha, software apps engineer-product manager at Yahoo Finance, said.

"When my dad lost vision in one of his eyes, I was inspired to take on the big challenge to make visual charts accessible to people who are blind or have limited vision.”

Chadha's father tested the demo and was able to understand the chart data “just moments after using the app. It was a special moment for me, personally and professionally."

Verizon Media's Accessibility Lab aims to make its own products and brands accessible to all. 

Yahoo Finance's eight hours of live streaming has real-time captioning, and apps like Yahoo Mail and Yahoo Fantasy are screen reader-optimized.

Verizon Media says it can help advertisers reach a more diverse audience with captioned ad products.

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