The Chandra visual description program is an accessible digital project to help connect users -- particularly those who are blind, have low vision, or have different learning needs -- with the science of NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory. Launched in January 2021, the project provides detailed verbal descriptions of Chandra and multiwavelength data (primarily images and data-driven movies or sonifications, as well as illustrations when required) as they are released. The information is provided in both text and audio formats, and used as alternative texts for web and social media platforms. The audio recordings have been concatenated into a podcast XML feed after obtaining user feedback. (XML feed: https://chandra.si.edu/resources/podcasts/description_audio.xml)
This project was created with J.J. Hunt and Christine Malec (subject matter experts in science communication, verbal description and/or the blind and low vision communities), Chandra visualization scientist Dr. Kimberly Arcand, and Chandra press scientist and astrophysicist Dr. Peter Edmonds. These user-tested materials have been informing how other Chandra captions or descriptions for non-experts are written for overall improvement to accessibility and inclusion.
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 USA
Creator/Manager: Kimberly Arcand
Art Direction/Design: Kristin DiVona
Web Developer: Khajag Mgrdichian
Chandra X-ray Center, Operated for NASA by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. This site was developed with funding from NASA under contract NAS8-03060 | Privacy | Accessibility
Additional support from NASA's Universe of Learning (UoL). UoL materials are based upon work supported by NASA under award number NNX16AC65A to the Space Telescope Science Institute, working in partnership with Caltech/IPAC, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory.