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Visually impaired can watch films, too: assessing the effects of audio description via film narrations

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2019
Zengin Temırbek uulu, Zeynep
This study aims to assess the efficiency of audio description which is a tool for visually impaired individuals while watching live or recorded performances. This tool enables these individuals to gain more from what they encounter as a voice describes settings, characters as well as events and some simple actions that are important. This unique research not only provides a first assessment of a tool generated for better learning and understanding but also is important in the way that it provides an insight on the minds of the visually impaired individuals. Also, the analysis of adult visually impaired participants’ comprehensions was a first in this study. Data analysis of this study utilized Trabassoan Narrative Analysis (1994) which examines comprehension by elicitation of narratives. This analysis framework focuses on the attempts and outcomes which serve the purpose for each completed action and thus understanding. The results demonstrated three important findings. First of all, visually impaired participants gain more from AD on a wholistic level since this assistance provides them with the setting of plot events which gives background to the story of the film. Secondly, the AD helps visually impaired participants catch up to the comprehension levels of the sighted participants in terms of understanding details in the story by providing short descriptions. Last but not least, the study suggests that the creation of an AD for a film must include the application of Trabassoan Framework (1994) in order to enhance comprehension and bring an emphasis on “What’s happening that is at utmost importance?” (Snyder, 2014). This is very importnat since the sole purpose of the audio description is to provide a better understanding to assist visually impaired participants. In the light of these findings, this study hopes to provide insight on the visually impaired comprehension via audio description as well as shedding light on the importance of these subjects.