SVGWiz: Creating Accessible and Explorable Complex Graphics



  • Jennifer Lucas, Instructional Media Specialist, Portland Community College

Session Details

  • Length of Session: 1-hr
  • Format: Bring-your-own Device Workshop: Internet-capable device with vector graphic authoring software
  • Expertise Level: Intermediate
  • Type of session: General Conference


Learn how to make accessible and interactive graphs, charts, and diagrams starting from a raster graphic or raw data. The CSS and JavaScript principles that control this system will be discussed, but familiarity with the languages is not required. Steps will be demonstrated using PowerPoint and Adobe Illustrator.


Scalable Vector Graphics(SVGs) are known for their small file size, infinite scalability without losing detail, and capability of including actual text. Inadequately described complex graphics can create a significant learning barrier. An accessible, interactive SVG can provide a more engaging experience for all students. This workshop will begin with a presentation explaining the CSS and JavaScript principles used in this particular method of interactive SVG preparation. Participants will be introduced to a new web-based tool for transforming prepared SVGs or simple datasets into explorable graphics. Graphic preparation will be demonstrated using PowerPoint and Adobe Illustrator. More complex applications, such as incorporating MathML and media players, may be demonstrated as time permits.


  1. Inadequately described complex graphics can be a significant barrier.
  2. Interactive graphics provide a more engaging experience for all students.
  3. New production interface makes this media more attainable for instructors and designers.

Disability Areas

Cognitive/Learning, Vision

Topic Areas

Accessible Course Design, Accessible Educational Materials, Uncategorized

Speaker Bio(s)

Jennifer Lucas

Jennifer started at PCC in the Disability Services office in 2019, supporting students in-class and through the design and fabrication of assistive tools. As the college shifted to remote operations, she began developing new methods of presenting accessible and engaging digital material with a focus on SVGs and task automation. In Fall of 2020 she started splitting her time with the Online Learning department, and worked with the media access team to create an in-house captioning workflow. In February of 2021 she went full-time with Online Learning as an Instructional Media Specialist, and has been supporting the STORI team while implementing automation tools to utilize a cohesive accessible media player (Able Player) in the new developments.