Department of Computer Science at UH

University of Houston

Department of Computer Science

In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of
Doctor of Philosophy

Raja S. Kushalnagar

Will defend his dissertation

Optimizing Video Presentations for Deaf and Hard of
Hearing Participants in Mainstream Classrooms


Deaf and hard of hearing students do not have equal access to lecture information in higher education classrooms, even with visual translation accommodations such as sign language interpreters or captioners. As a result, their learning and retention rates lag behind in comparison with their hearing peers. Research shows deaf students lose substantial lecture information due to two main factors largely unaddressed by the accommodations: cognitive limits on handling simultaneous visual translation of audio and other visual information sources, and classroom layouts that have widely dispersed information sources, viewing distances and angles.

This dissertation investigates optimization of consumer devices to support a multiple view perspectives (MVP) approach. MVP improves visual access and inclusion of deaf students receiving accommodations in classrooms not designed for full visual accessibility. We investigate approaches that enable deaf students to obtain better views of the classroom information sources, and to manage these multiple views. Collectively, our investigations show that personal mobile devices can be used to improve visual accessibility and enhance classroom learning for deaf students. Unlike most classroom accessible technologies, MVP is designed to be portable, student-centered and can either be used independently from the institutional network or in concert with it.

Date: Friday, December 3, 2010
Time: 11:30 AM
Place: 501D-PGH
Faculty, students, and the general public are invited.
Advisor: Prof. Jehan-Francois Paris