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Grant number like: HAA-281022-21

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Wichita State University (Wichita, KS 67260-9700)
Darren DeFrain (Project Director: January 2021 to March 2023)

Digital Humanities Advancement Grants
Digital Humanities

[White paper][Media coverage]

$99,915 (approved)
$92,942 (awarded)

Grant period:
9/1/2021 – 8/31/2022

Graphic Narrative Accessibility: Encoding Images for Blind and Visually Impaired (and Sighted) Readers and Researchers

The development and release of a beta-level app to improve accessibility of graphic and visual narratives for blind and low-visioned readers, together with a searchable database of encoded visual narratives that will enable analysis by humanities scholars and students.

The Graphic Narrative Accessibility App (GNAA) project will provide an equitable, robust reading experience to help all readers hear, interact and experience comics and graphic novels in a number of fully accessible ways. Drawing on psycholinguistic theory and utilizing haptic (vibratory) computer responses, the app will help blind and visually impaired readers understand page layout and other artistic and spatial design elements previously unavailable. As comics and graphic novels continue to gain in popularity in K-12 and college classrooms, schools must comply with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 1990 by having an equitable, accessible version of each work taught. All users will enjoy the ability to have parts or whole sections read aloud at one touch, plus each work will come fully translated into several languages. Finally, this novel approach will also use TEI coding to help make comics and graphic novels searchable for research and archival purposes.