Selected publications in disability studies, sound studies, and inclusive design
Browse full text copies of some of my publications. If you have questions about accessing any of my publications, please email me.
The characters on our favorite television programs are just like us: they come home from work and stream their favorite TV shows and YouTube videos. But it’s hard for me to recall any programs that showed actors using captioned media. While the sounds emantating from their screens may be captioned for us, the sounds are not captioned for them.
It can be challenging to caption scenes with multiple speakers. Bottom-center caption placement is far from ideal for readers when it fails to clarify who is speaking. Adding to the difficulty: speakers may talk quickly, interrupt each other, or overlap their speech turns to give cooperative support. When captions are placed underneath or next to each speaker, readers can more quickly distinguish — at a glance — who is speaking.
Check out my new article on enhanced captioning, just published in Kairos: A Journal of Rhetoric, Technology, and Pedaogogy (23.1, 2018). Read the full article: “Designing captions: Disruptive experiments with typography, color, icons, and effects.”
An analysis of one scene from Moon (2009) starring Sam Rockwell. The scene’s captions make use of Speaker IDs to identify speakers who are off-screen. But in doing so, the Speaker IDs fill in a major piece of the narrative puzzle.
Speakers don’t need to spell things out for caption viewers when these viewers can read it for themselves at the bottom of the screen. Speakers only need to spell it out for those audio-only viewers who don’t have the added benefit of reading.
Over the last ten days, the percentage of full episodes and movies with closed captions on Hulu has actually gone down. Overall, that percentage of cc content is embarrassingly low, hovering at around 4.5% for full episodes and 6.5% for movies — and appears to be on the way down.
Mainstream discourse about podcasting rarely discusses the affordances of the body. It rarely makes explicit the minimum requirements for participating, at the level of embodiment, or the bodily differences among users and producers that threaten to exclude some people from profitably using web audio and video.