Xi Wang

Xi Wang


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My 4-year research project, funded by the Marie Skłodowska-Curie doctoral training programme, investigates, develops and tests innovative access options for the blind and partially sighted (BPS), using new technologies within diverse museum environments. Working with Titanic Belfast and RNIB NI, I have pioneered three approaches that combine a commitment to low-cost accessibility solutions and emotionally engaged visitor experience. Firstly, I investigate how to evaluate audio description (AD) and visitor experience, trialling a combined method of reception study and emotion measurement using electroencephalography (EEG) and a tactile Self-Assessment Manikin (adapted from existing models). Secondly, I investigate the use of 3D printing and laser cutting to make a smart map that, through touch and audio, enables BPS visitors to independently explore Titanic’s fateful maiden voyage. The smart map uses readily available materials and affordable technologies, such as Raspberry-Pi. It also uses software-controlled multi-function buttons to enable BPS users to autonomously select the desired AD and level of detail. Thirdly, I have led the development of a prototype of a speech-driven chatbot for Titanic Belfast. This chatbot uses text-to-speech technology, to generate AD from a textual knowledge base; speech recognition for input, to voice-activate the device; and a design platform that easily enables museum staff to produce, update and customise the chatbot. The chatbot can provide bespoke creative and informative AD for BPS visitors, enabling them to autonomously enjoy a semi-structured guided tour of the galleries and navigate museum facilities. Altogether, the project contributes several methods to enrich AD for enhancing museum accessibility for BPS visitors both theoretically and practically.


I currently teach at the Centre for Translation and Interpreting on the postgraduate modules Audiovisual Translation (MML7035). My e-mail address is xwang26@qub.ac.uk


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