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Accessible Web for Deaf and Hard of Hearing with Transparent Multimodal Sign Language Interpreter Module
Primož Kosec, 2011, doktorska disertacija

Opis: World Wide Web is becoming increasingly necessary for everybody regardless of age, gender, culture, health and individual disabilities. Unfortunately, the information on the Web is still not accessible to deaf and hard of hearing Web users since these people require translations of written forms into their first language: sign language, which is based on facial expressions, hands and body movements and has its own linguistic structure. This thesis introduces a possible solution (method) for providing accessible information to the deaf and hard of hearing on the Web. The Sign Language Interpreter Module (SLI Module) method combines three different types of modalities: visual, auditory and kinesthetic. The visual modality is represented by the video of a sign language interpreter with the addition of subtitles. The auditory modality is reflected as speech and the kinesthetic modality is defined as user interaction; activating sign language videos on demand. In comparison to previous technological Web solutions, the innovation of the proposed SLI Module method is that it envelops various modalities for delivering written information. The presentation of this information as sign language videos with subtitles can be easily integrated into original Web sites, while fully preserving the layout's structure. This is possible due to the use of Web specifications such as HTML for layout presentation and the ubiquitous use of JavaScript scripting language for interaction. In addition, the method uses external W3C Timed Text format for subtitling. The analysis of Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 recommendations showed that these recommendations are still too general and inadequate for deaf people who use sign language as their first language. For this reason, the thesis argues that the main problem of the Web accessibility guidelines is that they focus mainly on functionalities instead of user experience. In the thesis, the reasons for selecting sign language videos over synthetic signing, such as avatars, are addressed. The process of producing sign language videos is described in depth. The thesis analyses present Web dictionaries on the Web and introduces motivations factors and development of a Web glossary on demand (SLI Glossary) using the SLI Module method. Additionally, this approach can be used for monitoring Web users‟ activities and can also be used as an indicator for further sign language videos recordings. The SLI Glossary method does not represent a text-to-sign-language automatic translator, but a way to enable single word sign language translations to original Web sites. Based on the experience obtained from the evaluation studies, the SLI Module method is gaining wide acceptance within the Deaf community as it assists them to get the written form of information by using a multimodal information retrieval. Finally, the SLI Module follows worldwide declarations and legislations regarding human rights on equal access to information, since it facilitates sign language as a primary communication channel. The goal of the thesis is also to start an initiative for Slovenian sign language recognition and increase people's awareness about its usage.
Ključne besede: deaf and hard of hearing, sign language, video, subtitles, accessibility, evaluation
Objavljeno: 17.02.2012; Ogledov: 2291; Prenosov: 114
.pdf Celotno besedilo (2,14 MB)

Ines Kožuh, 2015, doktorska disertacija

Opis: Social networking site use among the d/Deaf and hard of hearing has triggered a growing interest in examining the impact of online activities on their experiences. Despite extensive research on the use of social networking sites among hearing users, only a few studies have focused on use among the d/Deaf and hard of hearing. There is an evident lack of comprehensive research on d/Deaf and hard of hearing users’ experiences with social networking sites in which both the effects of the users’ characteristics on their identification with other users and their tendency to connect with members of online communities are examined. In our study, we developed a theoretical model for examining D/HH users’ experiences with social networking sites. The model investigates the relationships and effects among the aspects (identity, community building and connections between communities) and factors (hearing loss, educational background, communication situation and use of technology) relating to the experiences of d/Deaf and hard of hearing with social networking sites. The primary purpose of the model was to define how the aspects are associated with each other and how the factors influence the aspects. In line with the model, an online questionnaire in sign and written language was developed. A study was conducted in Germany, Slovenia, Austria and Switzerland, where the questionnaire was completed by 199 German, 43 Slovene, 21 Austrian and 20 Swiss d/Deaf and hard of hearing users of social networking sites. Due to sample size the main emphasis was on the results gained from the study conducted in Germany. It was shown that online Deaf identity is negatively related to online hearing identity, but positively related to community building and connections among communities. While community building is positively related to connections between communities, online hearing identity is neither related to community building nor connections between communities. Additionally, hearing status was found to have a significant effect on online Deaf and online hearing identity. Frequency of use of social networking sites has no significant effect on any aspect, while frequency of posting videos is the only activity having a significant effect on community building. Frequency of communication with the deaf in sign language on social networking sites has a positive effect on online Deaf identity and community building; frequency of communication with the deaf and hard of hearing in written language has a further positive effect on community building. Results of examining the effects of different countries on the aspects showed that Slovene users were more engaged in community building and connecting with members of other communities than German users. These findings imply a high potential for using social networking sites in the education process. Accordingly, we developed recommendations for teachers, and designers and developers of educational processes in order to assure efficient communication support for the d/Deaf and hard of hearing. These recommendations might be most beneficial in distance education in terms of globalization, since social networking sites provide opportunities for inclusion of students from abroad. Similarly, social networking sites provide wider opportunities for work between mentors and mentees, since questions can be posed and answers can be given directly on social networking sites.
Ključne besede: Deaf and hard of hearing, social networking sites, online identity, online community, community building, connections between communities
Objavljeno: 24.04.2015; Ogledov: 1028; Prenosov: 112
.pdf Celotno besedilo (19,96 MB)

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