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A major goal of data visualisation is to assist people in decision-making and this includes the personal decisions that we make in our everyday lives. These are decisions such as how to travel to a destination, where to go on holiday, how to manage personal finances, how to follow a healthy lifestyle, or who to vote for in a forthcoming election.

However, an estimated 2.2 million people in the UK live with a communication impairment and people with communication impairments and other disabilities are typically not considered in data visualisation research. Guidelines for creating effective visualisations make assumptions about viewers' communicative and cognitive abilities that likely do not hold true for people with communication impairments. The communication impairment impacts their ability to comprehend numbers, words and sentences, and to make sense of abstract information. It will also impact their access to data visualisations but we have very limited knowledge about how they experience and access data visualisations.

The overall aim of this project is to investigate and create inclusive data visualisations to support personal decision-making for people with communication impairments. We will do this by investigating how people with communication difficulties use and experience data visualisations for personal decision-making. We want to know what works well, what barriers people face and what workarounds they adopt. We will then use that knowledge to design and test new, inclusive visualisations and to develop methods, guidelines and tools for creating these inclusive visualisations. We will focus on two major groups of people with communication impairments, people with aphasia and people with developmental language disorders, rather than attempting to consider all communication impairments.

The research will be delivered by a multi-disciplinary team of data visualisation, accessibility and speech and language therapy researchers, working with project partners and user representatives. The research approach will be co-production and co-design where people who live with aphasia and developmental language disorders will contribute to new knowledge about the accessibility of visualisations and will participate in the design of inclusive visualisations through co-design activities.