Project Description

Travel experiences offer a diverse view into an individual’s interactions with different cultures, societies, and places. In this paper, we present a 2.5-year autoethnographic travel account of a hard of hearing individual—Jain. Through retrospective journals and field notes, we reveal the tensions and nuances in his travel, including the magnified difficulty of social conversations, issues with navigating unfamiliar environments and cultural contexts, and changes in the relationship to personal assistive technologies. By exploring the longitudinal travel experiences of a single individual, we uncover evocative and personal insights rarely available through participant-based research methods. Based on these lived experiences and post hoc reflections, we present two design explorations of personalized technology the autoethnographer created for aiding his travel. Finally, we offer reflections for customized travel technologies for deaf and hard of hearing users, and methodological guidelines for performing first-person research in the context of disability.


Autoethnography of a Hard of Hearing Traveler

Dhruv Jain, Audrey Desjardins, Leah Findlater, Jon E. Froehlich

Proceedings of ASSETS 2019 | Acceptance Rate: 25.9% (41 / 158) | Best Paper Nominee