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Alternatives to the Audio guide for Deaf Museum Visitors. What is the difference between deaf, Deaf, and hard of hearing?.

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what is the difference between deaf deaf and hard of hearing
What is the difference between deaf, Deaf, and hard of hearing?
  • Deaf- an individual who is active in the Deaf community through sign language and culture. Often diagnosed as profoundly deaf and sign language is their primary form of communication.
  • deaf- an individual who is medically diagnosed as deaf (ranging from moderate to profound in one ear or both) but may not necessarily know sign language or associate with Deaf culture and communities.
  • Hard of hearing- an individual who is medically diagnosed as hard of hearing can have mild to moderate hearing loss and may not know sign language but are able to communicate verbally.
  • Can be diagnosed at any age, but when deafness is genetic or occurs due to a childhood illness, spoken language is not usually acquired and the child relies on sign language to communicate.
how does this effect museums
How does this effect museums?
  • Deaf/deaf visitors cannot use standard audio guides.
  • Capital “D” Deaf visitors in particular, who learn English or any written form of a spoken language as a secondary language, may have difficulty in reading due to grammar and syntax differences.
  • Museum technologies are excluding Deaf/deaf visitors.
alternative options for the deaf
Alternative Options for the Deaf
  • 1. Sign Language Based Tour that is on a PDA or smartphone that can be downloaded prior to a visit or given out at a museum.
  • 2. Captioned videos or podcasts that can be downloaded onto MP3 players or streamed on the museum website.
BSL tour in the Tate Modern Gallery
  • Tate Modern's BSL Tour was the first sign language guide of a museum collection.
  • The handheld computer plays video clips of interpreters signing a tour of highlights of the displays.
  • The tour provides on-demand interpretation for deaf visitors in their preferred language, as an alternative to having to wait for a BSL-interpreted gallery talk.
british museum bsl videos
British Museum BSL Videos
  • Video project with the Frank Barnes School for Deaf children, which is one of the few schools in England which promotes a BSL bilingual approach.
  • The British Museum asked three groups of Frank Barnes students to use BSL to describe some of the key objects in the Museum.
  • The project was supported by a grant from the Trusthouse Charitable Foundation. The videos were filmed by Remark! a company managed and run by Deaf people
british museum bsl multimedia tour
British Museum BSL Multimedia Tour
  • 2009 Press release announced new set of handheld guides launches at the British Museum, designed to allow visitors to learn more about the British Museum’s collections. This includes:
  • · A Multimedia Guide available in 11 different languages, including British Sign Language (BSL)
  • · An Audio Description Guide (in English only)
  • · A Children’s Multimedia Guide (in English only)
  • The new Multimedia Guide, made possible by sponsorship from Korean Air, will be available in eleven languages (English, Korean, Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Russian, and Spanish, and a separate guide for British Sign Language).
  • The Audio Description Guide has in-depth descriptive audio commentaries of each of the 220 objects for visually impaired people (English only), while the British Sign Language Guide will launch with signed videos of about 120 objects. Videos will be added so as to include the full 220 objects on the BSL Multimedia Guide by mid-January 2010.
  • The Multimedia Guides, with the exception of the Audio Description Guide, will use a portable touchscreen device, the XP Vision, made by Antenna Audio.
museum sign language guide project
Museum Sign Language Guide Project
  • 2008, the European Commission gave funds for the Museum Sign Language Guide project, which aims at making information of museums and exhibitions more accessible for deaf and hard of hearing people.
  • These videoguides enable Deaf people to receive information in Sign Language and thus accompany Deaf museum visitors through the exhibition, transferring the same information as hearing people get through audio-guides or within a guided-tour.
  • Within the course of the project MuseumGuides for three partner-museums are produced: the Art Collection of the Veste Coburg (Coburg/Germany), Schönbrunn Castle (Vienna/Austria) and the Museum of Recent History (Celje/Slovenia). The Art Collection of Veste Coburg and the Schönbrunn Castle have actively used sign language guides.
  • Another main result of the project are the Guidelines for the Production of Sign Language videos. The purpose of this is to summarize the results and experience of the project work and help museums interested in creating their own MuseumGuides for Deaf People reducing the extent of external consultancy and thus the cost of development therefore guaranteeing the sustainability of the project.
what s in the us
What’s in the US:
  • Unfortunately, no permanent exhibitions have captioned video tours or ASL tours.
  • Museums that have technologies capable of becoming more “Deaf accessible”- LACMA, MoMA, Walker Art Center, and Brooklyn Museum using cell phones and MP3 players.
  • Museum of Science in Boston implemented one of the first ASL tours for a traveling exhibition on a PDA.
museum of science boston asl pda tour
Museum of Science, Boston ASL PDA tour
  • Supported by the National Science Foundation and making its premiere at the Museum of Science, Boston, on October 27, 2005 Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination used all six Star Wars films as a gateway to examining technologies of today and tomorrow.
  • Multimedia PDA tour developed with Antenna Audio that also had an ASL option which displayed an ASL interpretation of the audio guide option.
  • The MoS felt that the Star Wars exhibit was a good opportunity to use a new technology (at the time) to engage visitors to make them have a “cool” gadget like the characters in Star Wars.
  • Overall, Deaf visitors found the ASL tour to be empowering, giving them independence and access to content. However, additional cultural issues related to timing, learning style and norms need to be taken into account for future tours. They also recommended that the next handheld tour have more graphical content and keyboards and that tour content needs to be reexamined in the context of the deaf visitor.
how can us museums change
How can US museums change?
  • Apply for grants.
  • Become more involved with the Deaf community.
  • Partner with companies that work with the Deaf community by providing assistive technology such as Sorenson VRS or KeenGuides.
sorenson vrs and keenguides
Sorenson VRS and KeenGuides
  • Sorenson Video Relay Services provides free videophone and other technology services to deaf and hard of hearing individuals. Deaf or hard of hearing individuals can call another individual and communicate through a certified interpreter or call another videophone number to communicate with another Deaf or hard of hearing individual.
    • Sorenson BuzzCards is an app for your iPhone or iPod touch. A BuzzCard is used to communicate more easily with people who don't know sign language. Create cards ahead of time and make or edit cards on-the-go, easier communication in everyday situations like ordering a cab or food. To use a BuzzCard, just pick the card you want to show, and then hold up your iPhone or iPod touch so that it can be seen and read.
    • The Sorenson Video Center for the iPhone OS app is now available for Sorenson customers who have an iPhone, an iPod touch, or iPad devices. The Video Center app is a mobile version of the Video Center feature that is available on the Sorenson videophone. This mobile version of the Video Center lets you view SignMail video messages and all other videos that are available on the Sorenson videophone right on your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad device.
  • KeenGuides creates short-format video (30-90 seconds) on a mobile platform by GPS location (geocoded) tagged with categories (like good for kids, or “Civil War.”) and accessible for people with foreign languages and disabilities. KeenGuides has created ASL tours and cued speech tours that can be downloaded from iTunes or the web site.
issues of accessibility
Issues of Accessibility
  • ADA- 1990. Americans with Disabilities Act…only publicly funded places need to have TDDs, interpreters, or assistive listening devices (including many museums) however there are clauses that state that a museum or any publicly funded institution does not have to comply with accessibility if it causes an “undue financial burden” or alters the fundamental structure of the museum.
  • Acceptance of sign language as a language—varies from country to country, and the US has only began to accept American Sign Language as a foreign language, separate from English (ASL is not considered an “official” language of the US, but neither is English).
  • Stereotypes and cultural fallacies that have been upheld through time. Deaf culture and community needs to be accepted as well as the fact that many people who legally have a disability, do not consider themselves “disabled”.