“Life in Translation”: Addressing Deaf Visitors in Museums
On two Saturday mornings, December 3 and December 10, 2005, two groups of Deaf adults were invited to participate in a focus group to try out the Multimedia Tour in the Star Wars exhibition and provide feedback on both its effectiveness and how it could be improved. The purpose of the focus group was to gain rich in-depth feedback from many people at once, particularly because it is so difficult to capture Deaf users in our exit interviews due to language barriers. Focus groups followed a topical framework surrounding what visitors enjoyed about the handheld, improvements they might make to the handheld's design, and marketing the tour to the Deaf audience (See Appendix). A limitation of focus groups is that they are in an inherently social setting and lend themselves to bias by other participants. Participants might be less likely to disagree strongly to others' comments and instead conform to the norm, especially if one person is particularly persuasive. Having two focus groups allowed us to test the popularity of ideas that arose in the first focus group with the second. The appendix of this report includes a survey, interview protocol, and observation protocol.