Captions Resources and Library Patronage by Hearing Impaired Students in University Libraries of South-South Nigeria.

Author:Udofia, Emem Paul


There is a growing awareness in Nigeria of the need to remove every barrier to information access irrespective of handicaps and disabilities. This is so for library patrons with disabilities as reflected in the National Policy on Education (2004) which stipulates a definite provision of captions resources for the hearing impaired students in Nigeria. Captioning is the process of converting audio information into text and displaying the text on the screen or monitor. They are words shown on a movie, television or computer monitor showing what is being said in the programme. The National Centre on Accessible Information Technology in Education (2013) noted that captions are synchronized with video image so that the viewer has equivalent access to the content that is originally presented in sound, regardless whether they receive that content via audio or text. The benefit of closed caption to the hearing impaired students in institutions of higher learning had been identified by The University of Washington Library (2012) as allowing hearing impaired students benefit from the rich collection of the library by displaying audio and other digital information into text.

Captions resources have been of tremendous assistance to the hearing impaired students the world over. Data obtained from the National Institute on the Deafness (2012) indicates that there are 87 million deaf and hard of hearing people studying in different institutions in United Kingdom which equate to 14% of the population. Mitchell (2012) while commenting on a survey conducted by the Survey of Income and Programme Participation (SIPP) indicated that 1 in 20 US are currently deaf or hard of hearing. In a round number, nearly 10,000,000 are hard of hearing and close to 1,000,000 are functionally deaf. Although in Nigeria there are no data on the number of hearing impaired persons, but it is estimated that several thousands are studying in different institutions of learning across Nigeria including academic institutions.

Review of Related Literature

Captions resources are generally regarded as bridge linking deaf individuals to the digital world so that they have access to library materials, news, entertainment, and other information. Studies have shown the usefulness of captioned to students with hearing impairment. Koskinen (1988) in two studies employed captioned television in reading instruction for secondary school deaf students. Withrow (1994) reported on projects implementing captioned media resources in libraries for persons with hearing impairment. He reported that students were comfortable, and read with concentration. Evmenova (2008) investigated the effectiveness of alternative narration, various alternative captioning (highlighted text and picture word-based), and interactive searching the video for answers on content comprehension of non-fiction general education videos by students with intellectual disabilities. The study showed that students enjoyed learning with captioning devices. It was further concluded that captioning offer effective adapted curriculum and interventions supporting inclusion of students with disabilities into content based education. In a comparative study of captioned video and face-to-face instruction for secondary school students with hearing impairment conducted by Atimno and Egunjobi (2010), the result indicates that there was a significant difference in the learning outcomes of participant exposed to captioned video instruction and the group control. This suggests that caption video is very effective in library use instruction of students with hearing impairment. Austin (1981) and Messelheiser (1996) carried out a study on usefulness of captioning video in teaching library use skills. The study discovered that captioned video is useful in teaching library use skills. The study concludes that libraries should provide captions resources in libraries for persons who are deaf or hard of hearing. Atinmo and Egunjobi observed that the provision of captions resources is necessary in the library because it is one manner of accommodating hearing impaired persons in institutions. Similarly, Withrow maintained that...

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