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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2002

Deborah Thompson, Peter Williams, David Nicholas and Paul Huntington

City University and the University of Sheffield have been commissioned by the Department of Health to evaluate the use of digital interactive television as a source of…

Abstract

City University and the University of Sheffield have been commissioned by the Department of Health to evaluate the use of digital interactive television as a source of health information. The aim of this study was to evaluate access issues related to one of these pilot projects, the Living Health database. Nine older people and four deaf people tested the accessibility and usability of the database by attempting to find answers to their health questions. Their opinions were obtained using a combination of questionnaires, interviews and observations. Readability tests were also carried out to assess the reading level of the information content. The results gave an insight into the issues of accessibility and usability, and attempted to describe the individual experiences, difficulties, opinions and perceptions of the study participants. Recommendations were subsequently made for improving the accessibility and usability of the Living Health database to deaf and older people.

Details

Aslib Proceedings, vol. 54 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0001-253X

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1996

Yvette Jeal, Vincent de Paul Roper and Elaine Ansell

Reports on findings of a study of North‐West libraries and their service provision to the deaf and hard of hearing. Part 1 reports on current thoughts within the library…

Abstract

Reports on findings of a study of North‐West libraries and their service provision to the deaf and hard of hearing. Part 1 reports on current thoughts within the library profession and developments in staff training, the improvement and promotion of stock, and user education. A second article will report on material and technological developments such as minicom and building adaptations. Throughout, a sensitivity to the range of needs within the deaf community is encouraged, as is the need to make service initiatives ‐ at least for the more traditional library services ‐ reliant not on the keenness of key staff but on policy decisions. Action is being taken ‐ staff in 88 per cent of public libraries and 17 per cent of academic libraries had undergone deaf awareness training, stocks of relevance to learning British Sign Language and about deaf culture are being acquired, and libraries are promoting subtitled and closed‐captioned videos.

Details

New Library World, vol. 97 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0307-4803

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Article
Publication date: 15 August 2019

Lorraine Leeson

The purpose of this paper is to examine how the Republic of Ireland’s National Emergency Coordinating Group performed with respect to ensuring access to emergency…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine how the Republic of Ireland’s National Emergency Coordinating Group performed with respect to ensuring access to emergency information for deaf sign language (SL) users over the course of two emergency situations in 2017 and 2018 as a result of storms. The storms book-ended parliamentary and public debate around the recognition of the indigenous SL of Ireland, Irish Sign Language (ISL). The author explores if/how increased political awareness led to better access in 2018, and how access provision maps to best practice guidelines set out by the World Association of Sign Language Interpreters (WASLI) and the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD).

Design/methodology/approach

This paper provides empirical insights about the asymmetrical effort that is required of a minority linguistic community, in this instance, community of deaf ISL users and their allies, to secure provision of access to emergency information that is provided as a matter of course to the wider community of hearing English language speakers. The author draws on parliamentary records, social media and print media to document the political, societal and deaf community discourse around ISL recognition and the emergencies.

Findings

The author finds that significant effort was required of deaf people and their allies to secure access to national emergency briefings in 2017, with significant improvement evidenced in 2018 for Storm Emma and the Beast from the East, in the aftermath of the adoption of the ISL Act (December 2017). The author drew on the theory of effortful engaging, which posits that unless we have greater awareness of and pro forma consideration of SLs and deaf people, the burden of work required to ensure appropriate access and participation falls on deaf people.

Research limitations/implications

There is scope for completing a 360° analysis of stakeholders engaged in the process. Further work should also include interviews with deaf community members and emergency response coordinators.

Practical implications

This paper identifies implications for emergency coordinating groups: provision of appropriate interpreting must be a pro forma element in the planning for delivery of any emergency information. Broadcasters must be required to ensure that interpreters are visible on screen at all times during live briefings: what is unseen is “unheard” for SL users. Work remains to ensure that deaf people have access to preparatory information in their language, and that they have ease of access to two-way emergency services. Emergency coordinating teams need to integrate the UNCRPD-mapped WASLI-WFD recommendations into their emergency strategy.

Social implications

Communities depend on information for their survival in times of crisis. Communication requires comprehension and interaction. For SL users, information in an indigenous SL is a lifeline in a time of crisis. This requires emergency response teams to understand that “language” is multi-modal and embed strategies for engaging with deaf communities in all aspects of their processes, with guidance from deaf community leaders and advocates. There is also a need to consider deafblind people and deaf people who have disabilities, who are more vulnerable in crisis situations.

Originality/value

This is the first analysis of state provision of access to information for the Irish deaf community in an emergency setting. It is one of very few empirical analyses of how deaf communities fare in emergency contexts and the first to evaluate a state’s practice vis-à-vis UNCRPD-led guidelines on best practice issued by the WASLI/WFD. The socio-political context described represents a unique period where the Irish deaf community and ISL were central to political and media discourse because of the ISL Act and the death of two deaf brothers in tragic circumstances in Autumn 2017.

Details

Disaster Prevention and Management: An International Journal, vol. 29 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-3562

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Article
Publication date: 21 February 2020

Adrian Bossey

This paper responds to a range of theory and industry reporting, to provide an informed narrative which explores the current state of accessibility at UK festivals for…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper responds to a range of theory and industry reporting, to provide an informed narrative which explores the current state of accessibility at UK festivals for people who are Deaf or disabled and the potential implications of developments in ICT for enhancing design, marketing, operations and performances across all phases of festival delivery, in order to improve inclusivity and accessibility. To this end, the paper addresses the following question: What do representatives of the UK live music industry perceive as barriers to accessibility and exemplars of current best practice for music festival attendees who are Deaf or disabled? What do representatives of the UK live music industry consider as the role of ICT to increase accessibility for music festival attendees who are Deaf or disabled?

Design/methodology/approach

Primary research focused on supply-side considerations with a sample group of 10 UK live music industry professionals. The scope of the research was limited geographically to England and by artform to open-air music festivals, venues which host some music festival provision and a Sector Support Organisation. Open questions elucidated qualitative information around; awareness of accessibility and inclusivity initiatives; potential for co-creation; non-digital improvements; current technological influences; and potential digital futures for accessible “live” experiences. A conceptual framework was constructed and semi-structured face-to-face interviews were carried out with six respondents, and four respondents completed a structured, self-administered e-mail questionnaire.

Findings

Findings include: ICT can facilitate enhanced dialogue with existing and potential audience members who are Deaf or disabled to both; reduce existing social exclusion (Duffy et al., 2019) and improve the visitor experience for all attendees. All respondents agreed that physical enhancements are important and some mentioned communications and customer care. Respondents reported increasingly ambitious usages of ICT at music festivals, which may support suggestions of a virtual experience trend (Robertson et al., 2015). Online ticketing systems have potential to grant equal functionality to people who are Deaf or disabled, as recommended by the Department for Culture, Media & Sport (2015). Respondents broadly welcomed the potential for positive impacts of ICT on increasingly accessible live experiences at music festivals which retained a sense of authenticity and “liveness”. Challenges around “as live” ICT-derived experiences were identified including risks of creating second-class experiences for Deaf and disabled attendees.

Research limitations/implications

The limitations of this case study include the small sample size and limited scope.

Practical implications

Promoters should: consider further developing the co-creation of accessibility initiatives, utilising ICT to both deliver improvements and engage with potential audience members who are Deaf or disabled. Seek to pro-actively recruit staff members who are Deaf or disabled and significantly increase their programming of performers who are Deaf or disabled. Consider reviewing their ticketing processes for music festivals, to identify accessibility challenges for audience members and implement appropriate ICT-based solutions. Consider maximising accessibility benefits for audience members who are Deaf or disabled from existing ICT provision on site and explore additional bespoke ICT solutions at music festivals.

Social implications

Adopting the best practices described across the festival sector may improve inclusivity for disabled people at music festivals and other events. Event management educators should consider reviewing provision to ensure that best practice is embedded around accessibility for audience members who are Deaf or disabled. Additional public funding should be provided to drive ICT-derived improvements to accessibility for audience members who are Deaf or disabled at smaller-scale music festivals. Further research should be considered around inclusive approaches to digital experiences within a music festival environment for audience members who are Deaf or disabled and tensions between accessibility and notions of “liveness”.

Originality/value

The “snapshot” of digital aspects of accessibility at UK festivals within this research is of particular value due to paucity of other research in this area, and it's narrative from varied industry professionals. The paper makes recommendations to promoters, academics and public funders, to attempt to advance inclusion (or at least to mitigate current exclusion) and identify directions for future research into accessible digital experiences at music festivals for people who are Deaf or disabled.

Details

International Journal of Event and Festival Management, vol. 11 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1758-2954

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Article
Publication date: 19 July 2019

Katerina Pieri and Sue Valerie Gray Cobb

People with severe or profound hearing loss face daily communication problems mainly due to the language barrier between themselves and the hearing community. Their…

Abstract

Purpose

People with severe or profound hearing loss face daily communication problems mainly due to the language barrier between themselves and the hearing community. Their hearing deficiency, as well as their use of sign language, often makes it difficult for them to use and understand spoken language. Cyprus is amongst the top 5 European countries with a relatively high proportion of registered deaf people (0.12 per cent of the population: GUL, 2010). However, lack of technological and financial support to the Deaf Community of Cyprus leaves the Cypriot deaf people unsupported and marginalised. The paper aims to discuss this issue.

Design/methodology/approach

This study implemented user-centred design methods to explore the communication needs and requirements of Cypriot deaf people and develop a functional prototype of a mobile app to help them to communicate more effectively with hearing people. A total of 76 deaf adults were involved in various stages of the research. This paper presents the participatory design activities (N=8) and results of usability testing (N=8).

Findings

The study found that users were completely satisfied with the mobile app and, in particular, they liked the use of Cypriot Sign Language (CSL) videos of a real person interpreting hearing people’s speech in real time and the custom onscreen keyboard to allow faster selection of text input.

Originality/value

Despite advances in communication aid technologies, there is currently no technology available that supports CSL or real-time speech to sign language conversion for the deaf people of Cyprus.

Details

Journal of Enabling Technologies, vol. 13 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2398-6263

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Book part
Publication date: 17 December 2016

Laura Mauldin and Tara Fannon

The purpose of this paper is to provide a literature review of investigations into the specific disability of deafness in the field of sociology and other closely related fields.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide a literature review of investigations into the specific disability of deafness in the field of sociology and other closely related fields.

Methodology/approach

After a pilot search using databases appropriate to social science research, we developed key search terms and, using an inductive approach, we identified major themes in the literature.

Findings

Our review shows that deafness has been investigated for a long time in sociology and other related fields, that there is a wide range of themes in scholarly work on the experiences of deaf communities and deaf people, and that conceptualizations of deafness and d/Deaf communities have changed over time. We organize this paper around six major themes we identified, and a few highlighted pieces of scholarship illustrate these themes along the way. We particularly focus on scholarship from the late 1960s through the early 1990s as emblematic of seismic shifts in studying deafness, although we do highlight little known nineteenth century work as well.

Research implications

This paper captures the legacy of this past scholarship and reveals that deafness is a rich site of inquiry that can contribute to the field of sociology. It is also a valuable resource for any future sociological research into deafness, deaf people, and deaf communities. We conclude with a discussion of our findings, commentary on the extent to which previous scholarship on the sociology of deafness has or has not figured into current scholarship and suggestions for future research.

Details

Sociology Looking at Disability: What Did We Know and When Did We Know it
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-478-5

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Article
Publication date: 16 August 2011

Simon Gibbon and Colin Doyle

This paper aims to review the need for and development of specialist deaf secure mental health services.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to review the need for and development of specialist deaf secure mental health services.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is a review article; it begins by giving a brief overview of deafness and the relationship between deafness, mental health problems and offending. Following this, relevant literature and Department of Health (DoH) guidance is summarised and a description of the current UK services is given.

Findings

In 2001, Young et al. highlighted the needs of deaf mentally disordered offenders and the requirement for specialist forensic mental health services for this group. Since then several DoH guidance documents have been published that, amongst other things, highlighted the need to develop deaf forensic mental health services. There have now been substantial service developments in this area but substantial gaps remain – most notably, a lack of specialist mental health provision for deaf prisoners.

Originality/value

The paper offers insights into the development and future of deaf forensic mental health services.

Details

The British Journal of Forensic Practice, vol. 13 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6646

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Article
Publication date: 8 February 2013

John Bosco Conama

Deaf communities including the Irish one, often identify the status of their signed languages as one of the defining indicators of their social standings. Thus, social…

Abstract

Purpose

Deaf communities including the Irish one, often identify the status of their signed languages as one of the defining indicators of their social standings. Thus, social justice measures must be intertwined with the status of signed languages. The social justice issues for Deaf communities identified here are: access to media, recognition of signed languages and education. These issues are based on several research data and are described in brief. The purpose of this paper is to locate the situational position of Deaf communities in Ireland.

Design/methodology/approach

To understand the way in which a more radical model of equality would work for the Irish Deaf community, the author discusses an equality framework developed by the Equality Studies Centre in University College Dublin, with the aim of advancing understanding of what equality of condition would mean for Deaf people in relation to the access to media, recognition of signed languages and education.

Findings

The evidence from research and literature shows the serious disadvantaged position held by the Deaf communities in Ireland and other countries. The data presented alone show how both discrimination and disadvantages are largely due to negative perspectives on deafness. These negative perspectives are obviously influenced by historical, medical and religious factors.

Originality/value

The article raises awareness of the implications of different levels of equality on the status of signed languages. These levels, by default, affect the socio‐economic statuses of Deaf communities. It is obvious from this study that equality of condition is the best option for Deaf communities to achieve. This option demands a level of recognition and respect for signed languages, equal to that afforded to national and dominant languages. This would help to minimise the belief that signed languages are mere compensatory tools, which in turn, would create more egalitarian treatment for Deaf people who wished to pursue their main identity through the use of signed languages.

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. 32 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

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Book part
Publication date: 9 November 2020

Mark Halley

Purpose: In this chapter, I explore how American Sign Language/English interpreters came to enact an ally role with members of the American deaf community during the 1988…

Abstract

Purpose: In this chapter, I explore how American Sign Language/English interpreters came to enact an ally role with members of the American deaf community during the 1988 Deaf President Now (DPN) protest. The DPN protest, led by students at Gallaudet University in Washington, DC, was a historic moment in the deaf community's struggle for civil rights (Christiansen & Barnartt, 1995). During the events that unfolded over the week-long rebellion, students engaged in a variety of claims-making activities (Lindekilde, 2013), such as participating in media interviews and organizing rallies. To share their message with the world, the deaf protesters developed alliances with American Sign Language/English interpreters, who mediated a wide variety of protest-related activities.

Method: The data I analyze in this chapter come from (1) archival review and (2) semistructured interviews I conducted with DPN stakeholders, including interpreters and protesters.

Findings: Through these data, I explore how the protesters and interpreters came to develop shared understandings and expectations of allyship, including the roles that interpreters enacted in the protest.

Implication/Value: I frame this discussion within the context of a variety of metaphors that have been used to describe the role of signed language interpreters (Roy, 1993, 2002) and the concept of role-space (Llewellyn-Jones & Lee, 2014) to demonstrate the process of interpreters becoming allies in contentious political settings.

Details

Disability Alliances and Allies
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83909-322-7

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 1996

Yvette Jeal, Vincent de Paul Roper and Elaine Ansell

Reports on findings of a study of libraries in the north‐west of England and their service provision to deaf and hard of hearing people. A first article reported on…

Abstract

Reports on findings of a study of libraries in the north‐west of England and their service provision to deaf and hard of hearing people. A first article reported on current thoughts within the library profession and developments in staff training, the improvement and promotion of stock, and user education. This article reports on material and technological developments such as minicom, building adaptations and computer and videophone service initiatives. Examines their potential in revolutionizing the approach of deaf people in acquiring information. Considers two apparent contradictory fears: will the introduction of enhanced services stimulate a demand that libraries could not cope with under their current staffing levels, and will the technology ‐ as with experiences in services to visually impaired people ‐ be underused?

Details

New Library World, vol. 97 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0307-4803

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