Reception studies are frequently used in audio description research to elicit preferences of the visually impaired about certain aspects and level of acceptance of various solutions. However, this research method is characterised by limitations, which are discussed in this article as regards the participants and the design of reception studies. We then present a study which we think has been successful in overcoming some of these limitations, conducted as part of the European project entitled ADLAB: Lifelong Access for the Blind on 80 visually impaired persons (VIPs) and 77 sighted controls from six project partners’ countries. The respondents were presented with various audio description solutions and answered preference, comprehension and visualisation questions to find out which solutions they preferred, how much they understood following a given description and how easy it was for them to imagine a given description. We conclude that eliciting subjective opinions of respondents might be inconclusive and that AD reception research should be more focused on the cognitive efficiency of AD.
Audio description (AD) often emphasises the visual elements of a film rather than the way these elements are presented. However, what is seen and the way it is shown are equally important for creating meaning in film. The term mise-en-shot refers to the way in which visual aspects are shown to the audience. In order to determine whether the stylistic elements of film created by means of mise-en-shot could influence the reception of audio described film, the article investigates the effect of the presence or absence in the AD of these elements on the immersion of a sighted audience into the fictional world. Immersion is measured by means of sub-scales on character identification as well as transportation. In order to measure the effect of stylistic elements, the self-reported immersion of one group of sighted participants who sees a scene with the original soundtrack is compared to that of another sighted group who only hears the audio-described soundtrack of the scene. The findings suggest that although the absence of some mise-en-shot elements in the audio described version of the film does not influence transportation, it does influence the way in which a sighted audience identifies with characters in the film. It would therefore seem that these stylistic elements do have an important role in the immersion of audiences, which could have significant implications for AD.
), respeaking, audiodescription (AD) and surtitling are intended to offer help to audiences with hearing or visual impairment. Josélia Neves (chapter 6) explains the difference between SDH and conventional subtitling: the former is “designed for people with