Location:

HCIL (2105 Hornbake, South Wing)

Abstract:

Deaf and hard of hearing (DHH) people have relied on assistive and accessible technologies/services to consume or produce aural information. Some hard of hearing people rely on an assistive technology approach to enhance aural information for easier perception and understanding. Other hard of hearing and most deaf people rely on an accessible technology approach to transform the aural information to visual or tactile information for easier perception and understanding.

We will briefly discuss the history of DHH assistive and accessible technology. We will then go through interactive examples of how deaf and hard of hearing people consume and produce information through assistive and accessible technologies. After the examples, we will discuss how the differences in aural, visual and tactile modalities influence multimodal information consumption and production Finally, we will discuss the design and development of effective accessible computing solutions for multimodal information access.

Bio:

Raja Kushalnagar is the Director of the Information Technology program in the Department of Science, Technology and Mathematics at Gallaudet University in Washington, DC.

His research interests encompass the fields of accessible computing and accessibility/intellectual property law, with the goal of improving access to multimodal information for deaf and hard of hearing (deaf) individuals. In the accessible computing field, he investigates how deaf individuals use aural-to-visual access such as speech-to-text or sign language interpreters and on multimodal access disparities between hearing and deaf. He also develops accessible computing solutions to address these disparities in multimodal information access. In the accessibility/intellectual property law field, he advocates for updates in accessible and intellectual property law, to incorporate accessible computing advances such as captioning/subtitling.

He worked in industry for over five years before returning to academia and disability law policy. Towards that end, he completed a J.D. and LL.M. in disability law, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Computer Science. He served on the Federal Communications Commission’s Consumer Advocacy Commission. He has published several peer-reviewed publications and received grants in the fields of accessible computing, accessible law and intellectual property law. He can be reached at raja.kushalnagar@gallaudet.edu