Evaluating Audio Description and BPS Visitor Experience in Titanic Belfast





audio description, accessibility, visitor experience, museums, BPS visitors


This paper presents the results of a study that evaluates audio description (AD) and visitor experience with a group of blind and partially sighted (BPS) visitors to a real-world visitor attraction—Titanic Belfast. We apply the 10-facet model of visitor experience of Packer and Ballantyne (2016) for the first time in the context of accessibility, and through this we highlight accessibility issues which arose during the study. We identify two categories in our qualitative analysis that the model (Packer & Ballantyne, 2016) cannot cover. We also model the factors that influence visitor experience and apply them to the later approach of Packer, Ballantyne, & Bond’s (2018) Dimensions of Visitor Experience (DoVE) Adjective Checklist. The checklist is based on their previous 10-facet model, and translated and refined into 15 dimensions. Although the DoVE checklist is not specifically designed for the context of accessibility, we found that it is sufficiently comprehensive to model accessibility aspects of the museum AD and visitor experience for BPS visitors.


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Author Biographies

Xi Wang, School of Arts, English and Languages at Queen's University Belfast

Xi Wang is working at Queen’s University Belfast as a Marie-Curie Early Stage Researcher, and at the same time, is doing a PhD in translation studies at School of Arts, English and languages. Her research interest is in museum accessibility. She currently works with world leading tourist attraction - Titanic Belfast and RNIB to investigate novel access options that employ new technologies to improve accessibility and visitor experience for blind and partially sighted visitors.

Danny Crookes, School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Queen’s University Belfast

Danny Crookes is Professor of Computer Engineering in the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Queen’s University Belfast.  He obtained a BSc and PhD in 1977 and 1980 respectively from Queen’s University Belfast. He was appointed to the Chair of Computer Engineering in 1993, and was Head of Computer Science from 1993-2002.  As a Director of Research at ECIT, he has led research projects in computer vision, speech enhancement and separation, and in the use of FPGAs for high performance image processing.  Professor Crookes has published some 250 scientific papers in journals and international conferences.

Sue-Ann Harding, School of Arts, English and Languages at Queen's University Belfast

Sue-Ann Harding is a Senior Lecturer in Translation Studies at Queen’s University Belfast. Her main research interests are in social-narrative theory as a mode of inquiry into translations and translated events, with a particular interest in sites of conflict and narrative contestation. She has published on a diverse range of topics in several leading journals and is co-editor of The Routledge Handbook of Translation and Culture (with Ovidi Carbonell Cortés, Routledge 2018) and Translating Frantz Fanon Across Continents and Languages (with Kathryn Batchelor, Routledge 2017). She is the Chair of the Executive Council for the International Association of Translation and Intercultural Studies (IATIS), Reviews Editor for The Translator (Taylor and Francis), and serves as an ARTIS Associate (Advancing Research in Translation and Interpreting Studies).

David Johnston, School of Arts, English and Languages at Queen's University Belfast

David Johnston is Professor of Hispanic Studies and Translation in the Centre for Translation and Interpreting at Queen's University, Belfast. He works principally on issues to do with translation as an interpretive and representational practice.






Special Issue: November 2020