Microsoft Power BI is a data visualization tool that allows users to connect multiple types of data sources to create reports that can be exported and shared with other users. Users can then export the reports or share to other users to allow users to view and interact with the reports and dashboards.
Microsoft Power BI has both web browser and desktop client interfaces. There is also a mobile app available for iOS and Android.
Power BI Accessibility Status
Microsoft Power BI is largely inaccessible to screen reader users. Navigating through the Power BI web interface is extraordinarily difficult for screen reader users due to inconsistent navigation requirements and unpredictable focus changes. At different times, a screen reader user will attempt to utilize noted Power BI keyboard commands and those commands may not work or may cause screen reader focus to move to an unexpected area (e.g. the last element of a visualization rather than the first). Interacting with a specific visualization as a screen reader user is fairly accessible because the user can interact with the data as a table using keyboard shortcuts, however; finding and interacting with a visualization from the web interface is not accessible.
Recommendation: Do not use Microsoft Power BI, if you have a team member who uses a screen reader unless you have significant time set aside for teaching end users how to access the information being presented as well as ensuring anything created in this platform follows Microsoft’s guidance on creating accessible visualizations.
Please note: Statements on this page about the accessibility of Microsoft Power BI are based on accessibility testing done in June 2020 with multiple screen readers (Windows 10 and NVDA 2020.1 and JAWS 2020 / Google Chrome).
Information for Assistive Technology Users
There are a number of severe accessibility issues in Power BI for screen reader users. Using Microsoft Power BI with a screen reader is not recommended. Keyboard users may want to consult the Microsoft Power BI accessibility features page.
If you are providing access to data visualizations created in Power BI, you may want to consider alternatives such as:
- Provide a direct link to the data visualization with detailed instructions on accessing the visualization as a data table, so the screen reader user can interact with the underlying data
Vendor Accessibility Documentation
- Accessibility support for Microsoft Power BI
- Keyboard shortcuts for Microsoft Power BI
- Power BI Section 508 Statement
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