Technology Access Program (TAP)

The Technology Access Program (TAP) is a research unit at Gallaudet. TAP's primary mission is to advance accessibility and usability of communication technology for people with all types of disabilities. The current program is designed both to lay the foundation for access in next generation technologies and to create the bridge technologies needed to allow users to migrate to new technologies without losing the ability to communicate with colleagues and family who are still on older technologies.

TAP currently maintains the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Technology for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DHH-RERC). In addition, TAP currently conducts research into relay service technologies funded by a contract under the FCC and MITRE, and accessible home alerting funded by the Consumer Technology Association and TAP's operational budget. TAP also partners with the Department of Interpreting on a project with SignAll for real-world sign language recognition.

Dr. Christian Vogler, Director, TAP


RERC on Technology for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

ID: 4014
Status: Ongoing
Start date: September 2019
End Date: September 2024

Description

Gallaudet University, in partnership with the University of Colorado-Boulder, the University of Iowa, the University of Minnesota, American Institutes for Research, Hearing Loss Association of America and other key deaf and hard of hearing stakeholders will, in the course of this five-year RERC, address the accessibility and usability of technology for people who are deaf or hard of hearing. The goal of the RERC is to facilitate fundamental shifts in the role of technology for consumers who are deaf or hard of hearing, their family, and friends. The objectives are to effect: (1) a shift from clinic to consumer-centric health care models, (2) integration of data-driven approaches into practice, (3) integration of hearing technology into an interconnected mainstream ecosystem, and (4) access built into mainstream products. Anticipated outcomes include (1) improved fit of hearing devices to both children and adults, (2) improved decision-making on intervention strategies for children with hearing loss, (3) evidence of effective rehabilitation strategies and cognitive function in older adults with CIs, (4) improved integration of hearing technology and mainstream products with greatly improved usability, (5) accessible and usable voice assistants for people who are unable to speak clearly, (6) policy and technical standards that incorporate RERC findings, and (7) increased opportunities and training for people with hearing loss in the field. The expected products are materials on successful intervention strategies for children and older adults and accessibility of voice assistants, an industry-consumer portal on designing accessible products, a toolkit for integrating hearing devices into the Internet of Things, and a system to improve evaluation and fitting of hearing devices.

Principal investigators

Additional investigators

Priorities addressed

Funding sources

Products

Jensen, J., Vyas, D., Garudadri, H., Chipara, O., & Wu, Y. H. (2020). Evaluation of hearing aid personalization algorithms. Annual Conference of the American Auditory Society (pp. N/A). Scottsdale, AZ. Kozma-Spytek, L., Tucker, P., & Vogler, C. (2019, October). Voice Telephony for Individuals with Hearing Loss: The Effects of Audio Bandwidth, Bit Rate and Packet Loss. In The 21st International ACM SIGACCESS Conference on Computers and Accessibility (pp. 3-15). Nelson, P., Anderson, A., Beechey, T., Waggenspack, M and Westman, M (2020). Virtual Scenarios for evaluation communication, sensory aids, and social engagement. American Auditory Society. Nelson, P., Anderson, E., and Beechey, T (2020). Laboratory simulations of conversation scenarios: questionnaire results from patient and partner. Proceedings of Meetings on Acoustics, 178 Vogler, C. (2020, March) Accessibility Tips for a Better Zoom/Virtual Meeting Experience. Online: https://www.deafhhtech.org/rerc/accessible-virtual-meeting-tips/ (Last retrieved: 10/26/2020) Vogler, C., Childress, T., McKee, M., Moreland, C., Roth, R., Ruffin, C. (2020, May). Webinar Accessibility for Deaf and Hard of Hearing People. Online: https://www.deafhhtech.org/rerc/webinar-accessibility-for-deaf-and-hard-of-hearing-people/ (last retrieved: 10/26/2020)

Twenty-First Century Captioning Technology, Metrics and Usability (Captioning DRRP)

ID: 3889
Status: Ongoing
Start date: October 2018
End Date: September 2023

Description

Captioned video is essential for the 36 million Americans who are deaf or hard of hearing. Access to captioned video has a direct impact on participation in society. In the twenty-first century, video is everywhere: entertainment, news, political engagement, government, schools, postsecondary education, at-home learning, social engagement, and much more. However, captioning has not kept up with the shift from broadcast TV to video that can be produced by anyone. The technology and processes for creating captions are fundamentally the same as in the 1980s and 1990s, and do not serve the needs of consumers today. Today, our personal devices have high-quality screens and can support customized captions. At the same time, automatic speech recognition has much potential to both improve caption quality and the availability of captions for us. We are in the middle of a disruptive transition to captions that can be viewed anywhere, anytime. These new technologies create different types of caption errors, compared with human captioning techniques that have evolved over 40 years. As a result, there has been much consumer frustration. With these new technologies, it is critical to understand how caption errors impact consumers who rely on captioned video. We need a way to measure whether captions on a video are good enough for consumers, or not. We also need to understand how modern consumer electronics could support better caption usability and viewer experiences. The Twenty-First Century Captioning Usability & Metrics project has two goals to support the technology transition: First, to develop consumer-focused metrics for caption quality. Second, to improve caption usability on all devices. We have formed a deaf-led five-year research partnership between Gallaudet University, Rochester Institute of Technology and AppTek to achieve these goals. Our approach embraces the perspective of a diverse range of stakeholders, including consumers, caption providers, broadcasters, and other video distributors.

Principal investigators

Additional investigators

Priorities addressed

Funding sources

Products

Berke, L, Seita, M, and Huenerfauth, M (2020). Deaf and hard-of-hearing users’ prioritization of genres of online video content requiring accurate captions. Proceedings of the 17th International Web for All Conference (W4A ’20) (pp. 1-12). New York, NY: ACM.

Datta, P., Balchandani, A., Jakubowicz, P., Glasser, A. & Kushalnagar, R. (2019). Impact of Punctuation Quality on User Experience in Closed Captioning. Poster presentation given at REU AICT 2019, Gallaudet University. Online: http://aict.gallaudet.edu/research/presentations/2019/2019CaptionMetrics.pdf

Glasser, A, Riley, E. M., Weeks, K. and Kushalnagar, R. (2019). Mixed Reality Speaker Identification as an Accessibility Tool for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Users. ACM Symposium on Virtual Reality Software and Technology (VRST '19). New York, NY: ACM. Kafle, S and Huenerfauth, M (2020). Usability Evaluation of Captions for People who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing. SIGACCESS Accessibility and Computing, 122, N/A. Kafle, S, Alm, Co. O., and Huenerfauth, M (2019). Fusion Strategy for Prosodic and Lexical Representations of Word Importance. Proceedings of the 20th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association. Graz, Austria: International Speech Communication Association. Li, J, Luettgen, M, Huenerfauth,M, Al-khazraji, S, Bailey, R, and Alm, C. O. (2020). Gaze Guidance for Captioned Videos for DHH Users. Journal on Technology and Persons with Disabilities, 8, N/A.

Telecommunications for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Inc. (TDI),National Association of the Deaf (NAD),Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA),Association of Late-Deafened Adults (ALDA),Cerebral Palsy and Deaf Organization (CPADO),Deaf Seniors of America (DSA),Deaf/Hard of Hearing Technology Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center (DHH-RERC),Twenty-First Century Captioning Disability and Rehabilitation Research Project (Captioning DRRP),Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Universal Interface & Information Technology Access (IT-RERC),National Technical Institute for the Deaf (2019). Petition for Rulemaking Regarding Live Captioning Quality Metrics and Use of Automated Speech Recognition. Filed with the FCC, CG Docket 05-231, July 31, 2019

Vogler, C (2019). Comments on TDI et al. Petition for Declaratory Ruling and/or Ruling Making on Live Closed Captioning Quality Metrics and the Use of Automatic Speech Recognition Technologies. https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs/filing/101630433070: FCC.

Vogler, C. & Williams, N. (2019). Browser-based renderer for live closed captions. https://tap.gallaudet.edu/drrp/norman2/

Vogler, C. (2019). Key Performance Indicators for Accessibility – how do we measure accessibility? Presentation at the M-Enabling Summit, Arlington, VA, June 2019.


Scholarship and creative activity

2018

Vogler, C. (2017, December). Opportunities for direct engagement with Real-Time Text. Presentation given at the 2017 Government IT Symposium, Minneapolis, MN.

Vogler, C., & Rosen-Singleton, S. (2018, July). What you need to know about the Real-Time Text revolution. Panel Presentation held at the 2018 National Association of the Deaf Convention, Hartford, CT.

2015

Jain, D., Findlater, L., Gilkeson, J., Holland, B., Duraiswami, R., Vogler, C., . . . Froehlich, J. E. (2015, April). Head-Mounted display visualizations to support sound awareness for the deaf and hard of hearing. Proceedings of the 33rd Annual ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 241-250). New York, NY: ACM.

2013

Tucker, P. (2013, September). Teleconferencing industry: State of the science on accessible technology. Presented at the Conference on the State of the Science: Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Telecommunications Access, Gallaudet University, Washington, DC.

2017

Telecommunications for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Inc. (TDI), Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA), National Association of the Deaf (NAD), Cerebral Palsy and Deaf Organization (CPADO), Association of Late-Deafened Adults (ALDA), California Coalition of Agencies Serving the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Inc. (CCASDHH), Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Technology for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DHH-RERC), Gallaudet University, Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Universal Interface & Information Technology Access (IT-RERC), & Trace Research & Development Center (2017). Comments on Protecting and Promoting the Open Internet: Restoring Internet Freedom. Washington DC: FCC, GN Docket 14-28, WCB Docket 17-108. July 17, 2017. Retrieved from https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs/filing/1071783345674.

Telecommunications for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Inc. (TDI), Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA), National Association of the Deaf (NAD), Cerebral Palsy and Deaf Organization (CPADO), Association of Late-Deafened Adults (ALDA), California Coalition of Agencies Serving the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Inc. (CCASDHH), Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Technology for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DHH-RERC), Gallaudet University, Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Universal Interface & Information Technology Access (IT-RERC), & Trace Research & Development Center (2017). Reply to Comments on Accelerating wireline broadband deployment by removing barriers to infrastructure investment. Washington DC: FCC, MB Docket 17-84. July 17, 2017. Retrieved from https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs/filing/10718113803773.

Telecommunications for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Inc., National Association of the Deaf, Deaf and Hard of Hearing Consumer Advocacy Network, Association of Late-Deafened Adults, Inc., Cerebral Palsy and Deaf Organization, & Deaf Seniors of America. (2017). Reply to Comments on Structure and Practice of the Video Relay Service: Telecommunications Relay Services for Individuals with Hearing and Speech Disabilities. Washington DC: FCC, CG Docket 10-51, CG Docket 03-123, August 17, 2017. Retrieved from https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs/filing/108171617920353.

Vogler, C. (2017, July). Entrepreneurship, technology, and youth forum. Panel presentation at the 2017 TDI Biennial Conference, Bethesda, MD.

Vogler, C. (2017, July). The App Ecosystem: Revolutionizing accessibility. Panel presentation at the 2017 TDI Biennial Conference, Bethesda, MD.

Vogler, C. (2017, July). Town Hall with Key Officials with the Disability Rights Office of the Federal Communications Commission, and Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, 2017 TDI Biennial Conference, Bethesda, MD.

Vogler, C. (2017, June). Accessible media on the Internet: A new paradigm. Panel presentation at the M-Enabling Summit, Washington, DC.

2019

Vogler, C. (2018). Accessibility of Voice Interfaces. Presentation given to MN Government IT Symposium, December 2018.

Vogler, C. (2019). AI and Accessibility - Promises and Threats. Presentation given to International Telecommunications Union, Geneva, Switzerland, March 2019.

Vogler, C. (2019). AI and Accessibility. Presentation given to World Intellectual Property Organization, Geneva, Switzerland, April 2019.

2020

Bragg, D., Koller, O., Bellard, M., Berke, L., Boudreault, P., Braffort, A., ... & Vogler, C. (2019, October). Sign Language Recognition, Generation, and Translation: An Interdisciplinary Perspective. In The 21st International ACM SIGACCESS Conference on Computers and Accessibility (pp. 16-31). Best paper award.