Interactive maps: how do you make them accessible?

Handouts Media

Presented at 4:00pm in Meadowbrook I/II on Thursday, November 17, 2016.



  • Gian Wild, Ms, AccessibilityOz

Session Details

  • Length of Session: 1-hr
  • Format:
  • Expertise Level: Intermediate
  • Type of session: General Conference


Interactive maps are everywhere, and most of them are not accessible. Gian Wild talks about how you make an interactive map accessible to all users.


Online maps are inaccessible to vision impaired people so a textual alternative (long description) must always be provided. It is also important to include accessibility features within the map so it is accessible to people with other disabilities e.g. by making the map keyboard accessible. However map accessibility is not just about people who are blind or low vision, colour contrast is also a problem with maps, as is the use of colour to convey information. Gian Wild talks through the issues and provides examples and instructions on making maps accessible.


  1. Maps need to have a long description (which is not an address)
  2. Maps need to be keyboard accessible
  3. Maps cannot rely on colour alone

Disability Areas

Cognitive/Learning, Deaf/Hard of Hearing, Mobility, Vision

Topic Areas

Alternate Format

Speaker Bio(s)

Gian Wild

Gian works in the area of web accessibility: making sure web sites and mobile apps can be used by people with disabilities. She spent six years contributing to the international set of web accessibility guidelines used around the world and is also the CEO and Founder of AccessibilityOz. With offices in Australia and the United States, AccessibilityOz has been operating for five years. Its clients include the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, Optus, Seek and Foxtel. A 2017 Australian of the Year award nominee, Gian splits her time between Australia the US. A regular speaker at conferences around the world, in 2015 she presented to the United Nations on the importance of web accessibility at the Conference of State Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.