Sparkling Silence: Practices and Challenges of Livestreaming Among Deaf or Hard of Hearing Streamers


Understanding livestream platforms’ accessibility challenges for minority groups, such as people with disabilities, is critical to in- creasing the diversity and inclusion of those platforms. While prior work investigated the experiences of streamers with vision or mo- tor loss, little is known about the experiences of deaf or hard of hearing (DHH) streamers who must work with livestreaming plat- forms that heavily depend on audio. We conducted semi-structured interviews with DHH streamers to learn why they livestream, how they navigate livestream platforms and related challenges. Our findings revealed their desire to break the stereotypes towards the DHH groups via livestream and the intense interplay between interaction methods, such as sign language, texts, lip language, background music, and viewer characteristics. Major accessibility challenges include the lack of real-time captioning, the small sign language reading window, and misinterpretation of sign language. We present design considerations for improving the accessibility of the livestream platforms.

The ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems 2023