Television dialogue; balancing audibility, attention and accessibility

Ward, L and Shirley, BG ORCID: 2017, Television dialogue; balancing audibility, attention and accessibility , in: Conference on Accessibility in Film, Television and Interactive Media, 14th-15th October 2017, Department of Theatre, Film and Television, University of York, United Kingdom.

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Sound effects and other non-speech broadcast elements play many roles within television and radio content, including progressing the narrative. However, accessibility strategies for hard of hearing listeners tend to reduce all non-speech elements equally, regardless of their narrative importance. This work considers what effect narratively important sound effects have on dialogue intelligibility and whether their narrative benefit outweighs their potential to mask speech for hard of hearing listeners. This paper summarises previous work by the authors which showed the addition of relevant sound effects consistently improved keyword recognition in noise for normal hearing listeners. The current work investigates this effect with hard of hearing listeners. For unpredictable speech, this work shows that how much sound effects improve keyword recognition monotonically decreased as a listener’s audiometric hearing loss, in their better hearing ear, increased. For predictable speech, inclusion of sound effects improved keyword recognition by 13.2% on average (compared with 18.7% for normal hearing listeners). However, this improvement was less consistent than for normal hearing listeners and did not display the same monotonic relationship with hearing loss severity as unpredictable speech. Other factors which may influence the narrative benefit of sound effects, including their potential to mask speech, are discussed. Ongoing work to further characterise the relationship between sound effects, narrative benefit, and masking potential for hard of hearing listeners is described. Implications for object-based accessibility solutions for hard of hearing listeners as well as for accessibility strategies for the visually impaired like Enhanced Audio Description are also outlined.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Schools: Schools > School of Computing, Science and Engineering
Journal or Publication Title: Conference on Accessibility in Film, Television and Interactive Media, York, UK
Publisher: Enhancing Audio Description (EAD)
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Dr Ben Shirley
Date Deposited: 11 Jan 2022 15:17
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2022 17:15

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