Welcome back to Workout Wednesday! This week we’re taking a note out of Meagan’s book and looking at existing reports to ensure they’re accessible to our end-users.
Creating accessible Power BI reports isn’t just a nice-to-have feature, but a crucial aspect for ensuring all users can access and understand your data. Don’t let accessibility barriers hinder your audience – learn how to create inclusive reports that everyone can use! If you’re new to considering accessibility in Power BI, take a look at Meagan’s accessibility makeover challenge for more information on requirements.
We’re using a new community tool this week to ensure our reports meet basic accessibility requirements such as proper tab order, including alt text, and maintaining suitable color contrast ratios. You’ll check existing .pbix files (we’ll provide a sample if you need it), fix the issues, check the sample again, and then publish and share.
A huge thanks to Stephanie Bruno for letting us test this new tool!
Download the accessibility checker
- Download the accessibility checker. This tool was created by and for the community to help us build better reports. Thank you Stephanie!
- Open the .pbix file and take a look through the tabs. You’ll see information on tab order, alt text, and color contrast.
Download the sample file(s)
- Download sample files:
- Sample Revenue Opportunities (this is a sample created my Microsoft and provided in the Power BI service)
- Add any other sample files you’d like. I used a couple of older Workout Wednesday files that I thought would be good for this exercise.
- Save sample files in a local folder and copy the folder path to your clipboard.
Run the accessibility checker
- In the accessibility checker report, change the parameter in the accessibility checker for “PBIX filename” to the folder path of your sample file(s).
- Parameters can be found in the ribbon under Home/Edit Queries/Edit Parameters. For example, if you your pbix file is saved in your C drive in a folder called “test”, then the value for this parameter should be “C:\test.”
- Click the “Apply Changes” button and see how the visuals on the Tab Order & Alt Text and Color Contrast tabs change.
- On the Tab Order & Alt Text page, select a single page from the Sample Revenue Opportunities report.
- Look at the tab order column and how it corresponds to the SVG image on the right. The numbers indicate the order in which the focus moves from one visual element to another as the user presses the “Tab” key.
- The tab order is not correct. Correct it in the Sample Revenue Opportunities report for all 3 report pages. Save your work.
- Tip: In the Tab Order section of the Selection pane, there is a symbol that looks like one arrow on top of another . Click to have the tab order match the visual order. In simple circumstances, this should fix your problems.
- Now look at the alt text columns – they are blank, which indicates that they don’t contain any alt text. Correct this in the Sample Revenue Opportunities report, save your work.
- Back in the accessibility checker tool, click refresh to check your work on the updated tab order.
- On the Color Contrast page, we’ll use a parameter to determine what colors we can use with existing report visuals. This sounds a bit involved, but stick with me.
- Let’s start with the color black, which has the hex code #000000. Enter this value into the parameter, Colors to compare.
- Take a look at the table, and identify a visual to dig into. If you look at the slicer, you’ll notice that the background color is #465D8A, which looks like a purple.
- Now jump into your Sample Revenue Opportunities report and look at the slicer. It has a purpleish background with white text.
- Jump back to the accessibility checker and look at the table again. If you were to change the white font in the slicer to black (the comparison color), this would fail accessibility standards unless the text was at least 18pt. Therefore, a change in the text from white to black would decrease the accessibility of this visual.
- Look through the 3 report pages and see if anything jumps out to you. Remember, the comparison value is the one you manually entered, so this step requires a bit more consideration.
Fix accessibility issues
- After you have made changes to your Sample Revenue Opportunities report file, save the file and click the “Refresh” button on the accessibility checker report for updated results.
- Ensure that all visuals meet the minimum standards of having alt text, that the tab order in your report makes sense, and that your color choices meet the minimum standards.
- Make any other improvements you deem necessary to the sample report. Get creative with your design!
- Save and publish your improved report.