How Blind and Visually Impaired Composers, Producers, and Songwriters Leverage and Adapt Music Technology

William Christopher Payne, Alex Yixuan Xu, Fabiha Ahmed, Lisa Ye, Amy Hurst

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Today, music creation software and hardware are central to the workflow of most professional composers, producers, and songwriters. Music is an aural art form, but it is notated graphically, and highly visual mainstream technologies pose significant accessibility barriers to blind and visually impaired users. Very few studies address the current state of accessibility in music technologies, and fewer propose alternative designs. To address a lack of understanding about the experiences of blind and visually impaired music technology users, we conducted an interview study with 11 music creators who, we demonstrate, find ingenious workarounds to bend inaccessible technologies to their needs, but still face persistent barriers including a lack of options, a limited but persistent need for sighted help, and accessibility features that fail to cover all use cases. We reflect on our findings and present opportunities and guidelines to promote more inclusive design of future music technologies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationASSETS 2020 - 22nd International ACM SIGACCESS Conference on Computers and Accessibility
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
ISBN (Electronic)9781450371032
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 26 2020
Event22nd International ACM SIGACCESS Conference on Computers and Accessibility, ASSETS 2020 - Virtual, Online, Greece
Duration: Oct 26 2020Oct 28 2020

Publication series

NameASSETS 2020 - 22nd International ACM SIGACCESS Conference on Computers and Accessibility

Conference

Conference22nd International ACM SIGACCESS Conference on Computers and Accessibility, ASSETS 2020
CountryGreece
CityVirtual, Online
Period10/26/2010/28/20

Keywords

  • accessibility
  • blindness
  • design
  • music creation
  • music learning
  • music technology
  • visual impairments

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Software

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