From Disabilities to Capabilities: testing subtitles in immersive environments with end users

Belén Agulló, Anna Matamala, Pilar Orero

Resumen/Abstract

User testing in media accessibility has often profiled users based on their disabilities: subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing, for instance, have been generally tested with their expected target audience, which is deaf and hard-of-hearing users. This article argues that selecting users based on sensorial disabilities may not be the best strategy to obtain relevant results, as other capabilities—for instance, technological capabilities—may have a greater impact on the results. Moreover, the article argues that access services should not be exclusively aimed at persons with disabilities but can actually benefit all audiences. If accessibility is mainstreamed, and ideally integrated in the creation and production processes, testing should expand from an exclusive approach based on accessibility to a more general approach based on usability in which users with diverse capabilities are considered.

To illustrate this point and propose a new approach to user testing in media accessibility, in which we would move from a disability to a capabilities model, specific examples from the EU funded project ImAc (Immersive Accessibility) project are shown in a chronological order. Then, the article presents the initial testing, targeting persons with disabilities, and describes the poor data results leading to a new approach. We propose a new testing focus and justify the methodological shift. Then, we describe the second test in which the new approach is implemented, using the same stimuli but different able technology users. The article finishes with conclusions and final remarks in which we open the door to a move from an accessibility approach to testing to a usability approach.


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Referencias


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.21071/hikma.v17i0.11167

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