The Plus advent calendar door #13: Hannah Thomas – Making data accessible

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Behind today's door is a helpful dose of empathy – both useful as we head into work and family gatherings but also, as we'll find out, for communicating.

Having empathy with your audience – with all your audiences – is the first step for making your content accessible. Hannah Thomas of the Government Analysis Function explained this in her brilliant talk in January at the Communicating mathematics for the public event at the Newton Gateway to Mathematics. Hannah's talk was full of insights and practical ideas on how to make all content published online easy to access and use for all users, regardless of impairment, medical condition or disability.

Hannah Thomas

Hannah Thomas speaking at the Communicating mathematics for the public event

Our friends Dan Aspel and Maha Kaouri spoke to Hannah for this episode of the Living Proof podcast from the Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences. Hannah told them about her work helping to make government data more accessible, the common pitfalls of data accessibility and tips and tricks that can help. They also find our why more people used to get married at the end of the tax year...

00:00 – Introduction
00:44 – Welcome, discussing “Communicating Mathematics for the Public” (“as entertaining as Disneyland Paris and definitely more inspiring”)
04:20 – All about Government Analysis Function, a love of data journalism, career history
13:35 – Visualising data and making digital information accessible
21:40 – Common accessibility pitfalls
24:20 – Plans for the future… e-learning resources

This podcast was inspired by the Communicating mathematics for the public event at the Newton Gateway to Mathematics in January 2023. For more information we strongly recommend you watch Hannah's talk from that event, Data Visualisation and Digital Accessibility: What We Can Do to Help or read our writing guide.

You can listen to the podcast using the player above, and you can subscribe to our podcast through Apple Podcasts, Spotify and through most other podcast providers via podbean.

Return to the Plus advent calendar 2023.

This podcast is part of our collaboration with the Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences (INI) – you can find all the content from our collaboration here. The INI is an international research centre and our neighbour here on the University of Cambridge's maths campus. It attracts leading mathematical scientists from all over the world, and is open to all. Visit www.newton.ac.uk to find out more.

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