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Demographic and Experiential Factors Influencing Acceptance of Sign Language Animation by Deaf Users

Hernisa Kacorri, Matt Huenerfauth, Sarah Ebling, Kasmira Patel and Mackenzie Willard

The 17th International ACM SIGACCESS Conference on Computers and Accessibility (ASSETS 2015)
Lisbon, Portugal, October 26-28, 2015


Technology to automatically synthesize linguistically accurate and natural-looking animations of American Sign Language (ASL) from an easy-to-update script would make it easier to add ASL content to websites and media, thereby increasing information accessibility for many people who are deaf. Researchers evaluate their sign language animation systems by collecting subjective judgments and comprehension-question responses from deaf participants. Through a survey (N=62) and multiple regression analysis, we identified relationships between (a) demographic and technology experience/attitude characteristics of participants and (b) the subjective and objective scores collected from them during the evaluation of sign language animation systems. This finding suggests that it would be important for researchers to collect and report these characteristics of their participants in publications about their studies, but there is currently no consensus in the field. We present a set of questions in ASL and English that can be used by researchers to measure these participant characteristics; reporting such data would enable researchers to better interpret and compare results from studies with different participant pools.

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