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 within each release in the Photos section of the website, and is used as alternative text for web and social media platforms. These products are also available in a single listing at: https://chandra.si.edu/resources/podcasts/description_audio.html
In response to user feedback, the audio recordings have been concatenated into a podcast XML feed. (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.