Data Planet Accessibility Guide

Last updated: 14 December 2022

Welcome to the accessibility guide for Data Planet. We frequently make improvements to make our site more accessible, so you may wish to bookmark this page and check back every now and then.

This page is intended as a user guide to the site’s accessibility features. If you would like to request specific information on WCAG AA conformance and compliance with accessibility directives (including VPAT requests), you can message SAGE’s accessibility team at online.accessibility@sagepub.com. If you’re interested in the accessibility of other SAGE products and formats, or accessibility at SAGE generally, see our global accessibility statement.

This document is also available as an accessible PDF. If you would like this document in an alternative format, or if you have any other questions about the accessibility of Data Planet, contact us at online.accessibility@sagepub.com.

Data Planet content and alternative formats

The Data Planet platform provides data through its interface, as well as options to download the data into Excel, PDF, XML, and SAS formats. All data provided through the platform is DRM-free, and there are no technical limitations placed on downloading, saving, or printing – though you should ensure that your use of the content is reasonable and complies with our Terms of Use.

Reading and viewing guidance – Data Planet interface

Specific guidance for keyboard navigation

You can use a keyboard to navigate through Data Planet and use its features. Use the tab key to move through the interactive elements of the page and the visible outline will indicate which element has focus.

Skipping repetitive content

Data Planet contains a ‘Skip to main content’ link on each page, which becomes visible when it receives focus. This link always appears as the first link on the page, so you can navigate to it by tabbing down once when the page loads, or tabbing back up to the top of the page at any time. Clicking the link will bypass the site’s navigation menus and move focus to the page’s main content.

Limitations and exceptions

Dataset visualisations currently present a “drag and hold” zoom feature which is only accessible via mouse. Work to make this feature accessible to all users is on the roadmap.

Specific guidance for visually impaired users

Reading order

Reading order usually follows the visual order of the content and uses a left-to-right, top-to-bottom convention.

Navigating by page section

Each page on Data Planet is divided into landmarks so that the layout of the page can be perceived by assistive technologies. As well as using the skip link on each page to bypass repetitive elements, if you use a screen reader you can use these landmarks to scan and navigate the page. Useful landmarks include:

  • Banner: The site's global header containing a link to the homepage, navigation menus, a search function and a login menu.

  • Main: The main content of the page. Structurally, this is always the first landmark after the banner landmark.

  • Navigation: Navigation elements, such as the dataset selection panel.

  • Complementary: Content that is separate but supplements the main content, for example related content and dataset metadata

  • Contentinfo: The site's footer where useful site-wide information, such as policies and contact information, can be found.

  • Region: The site also contains miscellaneous named regions, such as 'Also from SAGE Publishing' which links to other SAGE products.

  • Search: Functionality that enables the user to search the site. On search results pages, filters are contained in a search landmark with the name ‘Quick filters’ so they can be accessed or bypassed easily.

Navigating by heading

  • Attention has been given to each page’s semantic structure (i.e. its h1 to h6 tags) to ensure that headings are descriptive and useful.

Limitations and exceptions
  • Screen Reader navigation inside the Datasets and Filter panels is currently verbose. Work to improve and streamline the experience is currently on the roadmap.
  • Users may have trouble when navigating and using of the Datasets calculator tool via keyboard and Screen Reader. Work to improve the design and functionality of the tool is currently on the roadmap.

Color contrast

All text on the platform meets minimum recommended contrast ratios against the background. This is 4.5:1 for normal text and 3:1 for large text. If you still have trouble reading text on the site, the next section contains information about changing the text size. Alternatively, you may find it helpful to use a browser extension to specify your own color combinations, such as Change Colors for Chrome.

Limitations and exceptions

Some content, particularly pie charts and maps, may contain figures and graphics (including images of text) that do not use sufficient color contrast, or use color as the only means of conveying information. If you find any graphics to be illegible, contact online.accessibility@sagepub.com> and we will endeavor to update them.

Text size and magnification

You can change the text size of content and style of text by altering the default font settings in your browser, or you can alternatively use your browser’s zoom functionality.

Text alternatives for visual content

Navigational images and icons, as well as many images in the content itself, contain useful alternative text. When alt text and long descriptions are available in the content, these are rendered in the interface. If you encounter an image that does not have a text alternative, and you need one, you can request alternative text for specific images by contacting online.accessibility@sagepub.com.

Images that are decorative or incidental are given a ‘null’ alt attribute, so they are properly ignored by screen readers.

Limitations and exceptions
  • Audio descriptions are not currently available for videos found in Data Basics.

Screen reader compatibility

Our site is designed to follow a logical reading order and semantic structure rather than work with any specific screen reader. However, we test our site with the following combinations:

  • JAWS and Chrome
  • NVDA and Firefox
  • VoiceOver and Safari

Reading guidance - PDF

We recommend that users will get the best experience if they read data directly on the Data interface. If you would rather read from the automatically generated PDF, you should bear the following in mind.

Limitations and exceptions

  • PDFs downloaded from the platform are not tagged for reading order, and so will follow the visual order. The main implication of this is that the page header and footer is read on each page.
  • Although alt text is rendered in PDFs downloaded from the platform, long descriptions are not.
  • PDFs downloaded from the platform inherit any structural or content issues mentioned above, such as unavailable alt text and untagged section headings.

If you do not have a PDF reader installed on your computer, you can download Adobe Acrobat Reader DC from Adobe.

Evaluation and testing methods

The information in this accessibility guide is based on a third-party expert evaluation of the Data Planet platform conducted by Tech for All between 7 May and 26 May 2021.

As well as automated testing and manual evaluation of captions and text alternatives, an expert screen reader user worked through the web application on a Windows 10 environment using the NVDA 2022.3 and JAWS 2022 screen readers with the Chrome browser (Version 106).

Subsequent to this evaluation, the SAGE product and user experience teams met to itemise any outstanding accessibility barriers on the site’s accessibility roadmap, the most relevant issues from which are noted in this guide.

Full testing and evaluation criteria are available on the site’s VPAT, which along with the full roadmap is available on request from online.accessibility@sagepub.com.

Ongoing support for accessibility

The Data Planet team considers accessibility as one of its core design principles. Team members receive regular training on accessibility, and we reference it in job descriptions for new hires.

We work to improve accessibility at each step of the product development process:

  • Requirements for new features contain accessibility specifications that outline the desired keyboard and screen reader interactions.

  • All visual designs are accompanied by a non-visual outline specifying the page’s reading order, semantic structure and landmarks.

  • Developers run automated testing tools to look for obvious accessibility bugs before release.

  • Our quality assurance teams perform automated and manual testing against the accessibility specifications.

  • Product and user experience teams then test the overall accessibility of the experience before release, using a combination of assistive technologies including screen readers (JAWS/Chrome, NVDA/Firefox, VoiceOver/Safari).

  • After major redesigns we commission a third-party evaluation.

How to contact us

If you have any comments, questions or feedback about the accessibility of Data Planet, SAGE’s accessibility team would love to hear from you. You can contact us at online.accessibility@sagepub.com.