Students work with CHSS faculty to learn innovative translation tools
The College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHSS) at Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) organized an event on June 13, to celebrate Qatar Academy Sidra (QAS) students’ adaptation of a graphic novel into an audio-tactile format for blind persons.
The QAS Grade 11 language and literature students showcased their transadaptation of Shaun Tan’s “The Arrival” into accessible formats for readers with vision impairments. The 2006 silent graphic novel is an inspirational story that explores themes of migration, diversity, community, and acceptance.
Between March and May 2022, Dr. Joselia Neves, Professor and Associate Dean for Social Engagement and Access at CHSS, in close collaboration with the course teacher, Ms. Melisa Kandido, engaged the QAS students with Al Noor teachers and students, to learn about vision impairment and alternative communication. The students worked closely with Dr. Neves to render a multisensory adaptation of the novel, using touch and sound to help blind readers experience the story vividly.
During the event, the QAS students shared their experience creating the adaptation. After analyzing the graphic novel and identifying its central elements, they went on to script the audio-descriptive narratives, which they recorded in CHSS’s recording studio. They then drew and tactilized relevant frames to build 3-dimensional (3D) models. The unique format offers vision impaired readers an auditory-tactile experience of the novel.
Dr. Neves said: “This project demonstrated that notions of inclusion and accessibility can be interwoven into mainstream K-12 curricula in creative ways. These bright young students will be more compassionate and socially engaged citizens because of this experience. We extend a very special thanks to the students and teachers at Qatar Academy Sidra for engaging in this socially relevant activity. We are delighted with the students’ commitment and enthusiasm. Their adapted book is already sitting on a shelf in Qatar National Library.”
“I think this project really opened our eyes to different perspectives and how to connect with them,” said Sheikha Al Mannai, a Grade 11 student at QAS. “It's an experience that will really help us in the future.”