Investigating hearing-impaired visitor experience in Hong Kong Wetland Park from a perspective of a multi-sensory functional landscape
Prof. CHAN Chung-shing (Johnson)
The aim of the proposed research project is to understand and assess the multi-sensory experiences of hearing-impaired visitors to the Hong Kong Wetland Park. This study will understand how sensory-impaired people perceive, react and interpret their surrounding landscaped environment distinctively by their constrained sensory ability.
The universal accessibility and barrier-free experience of public spaces such as parks is at the frontier of social sustainability and disability research, and the concepts of multi-sensory visitor experience can contribute to theoretical and methodological advancement to understand the sensation of impaired visitors. Knowledge deficiency exists in two areas. Firstly, the sensory-based experience of viewing public parks as multi-sensory functional landscapes is yet thoroughly examined in Hong Kong despite a well-developed park system and facilities and, secondly, the sensory displacement or adaptation of sensory-impaired people, especially the hearing impaired, in public parks is not well understood. Through the case of the Hong Kong Wetland Park, this study aims at discerning the five human senses holistically, with respect to hearing-impaired visitor experiences, and specifically understanding how impaired sensory experiences are portrayed and perceived by the sampled visitors. Through a series of guided and free visits to the park, the study will elucidate the self-reported experiences of sensory stimuli, park environment and sensory-based factors of the hearing-impaired participants. Key research methods include systematic participant observations, self-administered questionnaires and focus-group discussions, targeting a sample of 240 participants. This research is funded by General Research Fund, Research Grants Council of Hong Kong (Project code: 14607919)
Figure 1a – Conceptual framework