Zoom Colloquium: Improving Comics Accessibility for People with Visual Impairments

Zoom Colloquium: Improving Comics Accessibility for People with Visual Impairments

Event Date

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2022 – 12:00pm to 1:00pm


Assistant Professor Uran Oh, at Ewha Woman’s University in South Korea


Post-Doctoral Fellow, Jonggi Hong



A number of researches have been conducted to improve the accessibility of various types of images on the web (e.g., photos and artworks) for people with visual impairments. However, little has been studied on making comics accessible. As a formative study, we first conducted an online survey with 68 participants who are blind or have low vision. Based on their prior experiences with audio-books and eBooks, we propose an accessible digital comic book reader for people with visual impairments. An interview study and prototype evaluation with eight participants with visual impairments revealed implications that can further improve the accessibility of comic books for people with visual impairments. 

We then focused on a specific type of digital comics called webtoon, which is read online where readers can leave comments to share their thoughts on the story. To improve the webtoon reading experience for BLV users, we propose another interactive webtoon reader that leverages comments into the design of novel webtoon interactions. Since comments can identify story highlights and provide additional context, we designed a system that provides 1) comments-based adaptive descriptions with selective access to details and 2) panel-anchored comments for easy access to relevant descriptive comments. Our evaluation showed that Cocomix users could adapt the description for various needs and better utilize comments. https://hcil-ewha.github.io/homepage/index.html

Improving Zoom accessibility for people with hearing impairments
People with hearing impairments often use lipreading and speechreading to improve speech comprehension. This approach is helpful but only works if the speaker’s face and mouth are clearly visible. For the benefit of people with hearing impairments on Zoom calls, please enable your device’s camera whenever you are speaking on Zoom, and face the camera while you speak. (Feel free to disable your camera when you aren’t speaking.)

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