Mary Gates Research Scholar, Winter 2022
Research Project: Flipping the Script: Co-Designing Systems to Support Blind and Low Vision Audio Description Scriptwriters
Project Description: Audio description (AD), an additional narration track that conveys visual information in media, improves video accessibility for blind or low vision (BLV) viewers. However, BLV audiences are limited in how they can contribute to the AD writing process due to technology inaccessibility and societal biases. I prototyped and tested an accessible AD writing system with six blind and low vision viewers to explore nonvisual involvement in AD creation and combat stigmas against BLV audio description writers.
What have you learned throughout your research project?
Part of what makes research difficult is due to its self-directed and often unclear nature. However, the process of investigating and approaching a problem from multiple perspectives is often just as valuable as finding a definite or conclusive answer.
What piece of advice do you have for future applicants?
Taking on research and leadership projects can be intimidating, and it can feel even more intimidating to apply for a scholarship dedicated to recognizing your work. During the application process, focus on clearly communicating your ideas and impact to people who are unfamiliar with your work, while also being true to yourself and showing your passion for what you do. Getting advice from mentors, advisors, and peers can be extremely helpful, but be sure to trust your instincts too!