“A difficult art getting it right”. A thematic analysis of users’ views and experiences of audio description in the UK
Conference name
EST Congress 2022
Audio description (AD) is growing as a practice and an area of research, with increasing demand and the adoption of different technologies and novel approaches in AD research. AD reception research can help improve the quality of AD by informing the decisions and strategies adopted by practitioners, as noted by Chmiel and Mazur (2012). To this end, this study aimed to investigate participants’ views and preferences regarding AD. As pointed out by Fryer and Walczak (2020) AD “has been embraced by the rapidly growing field of media accessibility” and this study is no exception, since it forms part of wider research on digital media accessibility. Thus, it could be described as sitting within the new and emerging area of AD reception research identified as the “inclusive strand” by Di Giovanni (2018), since it investigated users’ opinions and perceptions of AD within the context of discussions on several digital accessibility services and tools aiming to provide access to all, and with participants with a range of different physical, sensory and cognitive abilities and disabilities. As Romero-Fresco (2021) has noted, there is a need for more qualitative research in AVT and Media Accessibility, to learn “a lot about a few participants” rather than learning just “a little bit about a lot of participants” (ibid.). Moreover, like Greco (2018), in this study participants are viewed as “bearers of valuable knowledge for the investigation of accessibility processes and phenomena” and it is hoped that this research will contribute to closing what Greco (ibid) calls the maker-user gap. With these aims in mind, fourteen semi-structured interviews were conducted with participants aged 21-60 years to gain a rich, in-depth understanding of their opinions and preferences, within the context of their lived experiences. The interview data were analysed using thematic analysis. The findings will be discussed in this talk according to the following themes: better AD provision for contemporary media access; sharing (audio described) viewing experiences with sighted friends and family; more diversity and representation in AD; AD tailored to young adult audiences; the effectiveness of subtle, minimalistic AD; and, integrating AD into the filmmaking process.
Submitted by María Eugenia … on Tue, 10/10/2023 - 11:04