Colwell, Chetz; Jelfs, Anne and Mallett, Elizabeth
Initial requirements of deaf students for video: lessons learned from an evaluation of a digital video application.
Learning, Media and Technology, 30(2) pp. 201–217.
This paper reports the findings from an observational study of a digital video library system, DiVA, involving deaf students and students with other medical conditions affecting their use of video material. The Digital Video Applications (DiVA) system supports searching for and playing educational videos, and displays transcripts of the audio track alongside the video. Seven disabled students were observed while they watched nine video clips and then interviewed on their opinions of the system. The study is set within a context of an increasing focus on access to educational technology for disabled students motivated by recent changes in disability discrimination law. The findings of this study confirm the recommendations of existing guidelines that video material should be subtitled for deaf students, and that subtitles should conform to existing standards. It is acknowledged that subtitles may not be available on legacy video material and that transcripts may be a feasible alternative. This paper makes recommendations for the display of transcripts in digital video applications such as DiVA. It also emphasizes that disabled students have a range of different, and sometimes conflicting, needs and therefore the presence and display of subtitles or transcripts should be offered as options rather than by default.
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