Advancing Sound Accessibility

The next BostonCHI meeting is Advancing Sound Accessibility on Tue, Nov 15 at 6:45 PM.

Register here

BostonCHI November 2022, featuring Dhruv Jain


The world is filled with a rich diversity of sounds ranging from mundane beeps and whirs to critical cues such as fire alarms or spoken content. These sounds can be inaccessible not only to people with auditory-related disabilities, such as those who are deaf or hard of hearing (DHH), but also to hearing people in many situations. We all find conversations difficult to hear in noisy bars, doorbells inaudible over a vacuum cleaner running, or may miss a phone ringing while in the shower.

My work advances sound accessibility by developing interactive systems that leverage state-of-the-art in machine learning, signal processing, and wearable technology to sense and provide sound feedback. To design these systems, I follow an iterative user-centric research process ranging from conducting formative studies, to designing and evaluating prototypes in controlled environments, to crucially, conducting deployments of full systems in the field. In this talk, I will discuss my lab’s ongoing research in advancing three areas of sound accessibility: providing awareness about everyday sounds, supporting speech conversations, and improving accessibility of sounds in emerging technologies such as AR and VR. I will close with discussing future grand challenges in the area of sound accessibility.


Dhruv “DJ” Jain is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Michigan . His research lies in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) and focuses on accessibility. His work has been published at top HCI and accessible computing venues such as CHI, UIST, and ASSETS; seven papers have been honored with best paper and honorable mention awards. His research has also been covered by the media (e.g., by CNN, New Scientist, and Forbes), has been recognized by Google and Apple, and has been publicly launched (e.g., one system has over 100,000 users). DJ completed his PhD at University of Washington, his Masters at MIT Media Lab, and has worked at Microsoft Research, Google, and Apple.

Schedule – EDT (UTC-4)

6:45 – 7:00: Virtual Networking

7:00 – 8:00: Presentation

8:00 – 8:30: Q & A