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Audio description and cognitive diversity : a bespoke approach to facilitating access to the emotional content in multimodal narrative texts for autistic audiences.

Starr, Kim. L. (2018) Audio description and cognitive diversity : a bespoke approach to facilitating access to the emotional content in multimodal narrative texts for autistic audiences. Doctoral thesis, University of Surrey.

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Abstract

Audio description (AD) offers untapped potential for delivering content to new audiences, particularly in the realm of cognitive accessibility. To date, bespoke AD orientations, moving beyond the standard blind and visually impaired modality (BVI-AD), have not been researched. This study explores the application of bespoke AD for emotion recognition purposes, from the perspective of individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) experiencing comorbid alexithymia (emotion recognition difficulties). It aims to establish the suitability of audio description as a vehicle for delivering emotion-based cues to assist with access to affective markers in film narrative. A study of AD for sight-impaired individuals undertaken by the British Broadcasting Corporation found evidence suggesting AD helped ASD individuals to engage with affective narrative (Fellowes, 2012). Studies of affect with autistic spectrum individuals commonly employ multimodal materials for the purposes of measuring emotion identification (Golan, Baron-Cohen & Golan, 2008), but have not yet incorporated supplementary AD, either as an entertainment or pedagogical resource. Addressing the gap, this project pairs AD remodelling techniques with an intervention study, to test for enhanced affective accessibility in ASD audiences. Applying a functionalist, skopos-based (Nord, 1997; Vermeer, 2012; Reiss & Vermeer, 2014) approach to modelling AD in the first phase of the study (S1), two new emotion recognition difficulties (ERD) modalities were developed, emoto-descriptive (EMO-AD) and emoto-interpretative (CXT-AD). These were subsequently tested, alongside standard (BVI) AD and a ‘zero’ AD modality (Z-AD), in an intervention study with young ASD individuals (S2). Results suggested that BVI-AD might represent a confound for this particular audience. Since ‘ceiling’ effect was observed in the other modalities (EMO-AD, CXT-AD and Z-AD), the efficacy of bespoke AD for emotion recognition applications remains unproven. However, the results indicate that affect-oriented AD, per se, is unlikely to confound ASD audiences. This study represents the first trial of tailor-made AD for audiences with cognitive accessibility needs, representing an interdisciplinary approach bridging the fields of audiovisual translation (Translation Studies) and psychology. As such, it opens up the debate for broader application of AD to aid accessibility in the cognitive arena.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Divisions : Theses
Authors :
NameEmailORCID
Starr, Kim. L.
Date : 31 July 2018
Funders : AHRC/TECHNE DTP
Contributors :
ContributionNameEmailORCID
http://www.loc.gov/loc.terms/relators/THSBraun, SabineS.Braun@surrey.ac.uk
http://www.loc.gov/loc.terms/relators/THSWilliams, EmmaE.I.Williams@surrey.ac.uk
Depositing User : Kim Starr
Date Deposited : 06 Aug 2018 07:47
Last Modified : 06 Aug 2018 07:47
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/848660

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