CHI brings together people not only from multiple disciplines, but also from multiple regions, cultures, and language communities. Since CHI 2015, Language Inclusion chairs have sought to better support communication among attendees speaking different native languages. In CHI 2017 and 2019, we’ve rolled out language support tools and services for assisting non-native English attendees’ comprehension of conference talks, as well as non-native presenters’ understanding and handling of questions during the Q&A time of their talks.
In CHI 2021, the conference has decided to make the entire conference presentations and participation virtual through videos and other online communication tools. Given the new form of participation, the Language Inclusion Chairs have transformed its role from providing in-person cross-lingual communication support, to exploring issues and potential solutions of content accessibility and inclusive participation for global CHI attendees of diverse language backgrounds and proficiency levels.
By communicating and coordinating with General Chairs and Accessibility Chairs, we’re pleased to report that real-time captioning of speech content will be provided for all speech, which is known to be one effective form of comprehension support for non-native English speakers. The captions will be provided by the authors themselves (author-provided captions), CART (vendor for real-time captioning service) or Delegate Connect (auto-captioning provided by the conference platform). Text chats will also be available for question asking during the Q&A sessions. Together, communication tools available in the virtual edition of CHI 2021 will cover the language support features we strived to provide previously in in-person CHI conferences.
Please contact the Language Inclusion Chairs with any questions, suggestions or ideas you have.