Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) is an event that is celebrated every year around the world and aims to raise awareness about the importance of digital accessibility in an increasingly diverse and inclusive society, leaving no one behind. The 10th Annual Global Accessibility Awareness Day will take place as scheduled on Thursday May 20th, 2021.
This will be the third year that TransMedia Catalonia participates in this international initiative. In 2019, the TransMedia Catalonia opened the doors of its laboratory to the public to demonstrate the different accessibility services and modalities in which the group works. In 2020, the research group contributed online in the form of a playlist of accessible videos explaining the group’s various projects with integrated audio description and captions.
Media accessibility has become a key issue on the global agenda at the UN Sustainable Development Group towards social and cultural inclusion. With the rapid advancement and popularity of immersive content in recent years, accessibility remains a major challenge. With this in mind, TransMedia Catalonia are celebrating GAAD 2021 with an immersive experience to showcase accessibility in immersive environments.
Through the FADER platform developed as part of the research activities within the EU funded project MediaVerse, the experience aims to transport the viewer to a series of 360 degree cultural heritage locations in nature near the city of Banyoles. In each scene; closed captions, audio description and sign language interpretation have been integrated to offer content that is accessible to all citizens.
The immersive experience will be published on the TransMedia Catalonia website on Thursday May 20th, 9:00 am (CET).
This work is a continuation of research previously conducted as part of the ImAc project .
- Hughes, CJ , Zapata, MB, Johnston, M and Orero, P (2020), Immersive captioning : developing a framework for evaluating user needs, in: IEEE AIVR 2020 : 3rd International Conference on Artificial Intelligence & Virtual Reality 2020, 14th-18th December 2020, Online. (In Press)
- Brescia-Zapata, M. (forthcoming). The present and future of accessibility services in vr360 players. inTRAlinea.
- Hughes, C. J., Brescia-Zapata, M., Johnston, M., & Orero, P. (2020). Immersive captioning: Developing a framework for evaluating user needs. IEEE AIVR 2020:3rd International Conference on Artificial Intelligence & Virtual Reality 2020.
- Orero, P., Hughes, C. J., & Brescia-Zapata, M. (2020). Evaluating subtitle readability in media immersive environments. DSAI 2020, the 9th International Conference on Software Development and Technologies for Enhancing Accessibility and Fighting Info-exclusion., 2nd-4th December 2020, Online. (In Press)
COST is an EU funding programme that enables researchers to set up their interdisciplinary research networks in Europe and beyond. It provides funds for organising conferences, meetings, training schools, short scientific exchanges or other networking activities in a wide range of scientific topics. The new LEAD ME action will create a collaborative environment where people and ideas can grow around the central issue of Media Accessibility.
LEAD-ME started on October 1st and will run for 4 years. During the Kick Off meeting, representatives from 24 EU countries voted Pilar Orero of Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (Spain) as chair, and Robin Ribback from IPmedia (Germany) as vice chair.
LEAD-ME aims to help all stakeholders in the field of Media Accessibility and cross-cutting topics (e.g. AI and Interactive Technologies) in Europe to meet the legal milestones requested by the recently passed European legislation. Researchers, engineers, scholars as well as businesses and policy makers will be empowered by LEAD-ME with a common and unique platform which, during the next 48 months, will collect, create, share, and disseminate innovative technologies and solutions, best practices and guidelines, and promote them. Furthermore, it will contribute towards existing and new standards on Media Accessibility among 28 European or associated countries.
To do so, the LEAD-ME network will make use of the specific tools of the COST Action: meetings and working group meetings; educational institutes, short-term scientific missions; dissemination activities. LEAD-ME will boost a cultural change and the creation of a new mindset when designing tools for professional and private activities for all European citizens of all abilities and disabilities. This COST Action is strongly needed to avoid further fragmentation in the European accessibility scene, challenging the European Single Digital Market idea. The uneven take-up in Europe is the direct result of the complex nature of Media, the background technology involved, the fast-changing technology and business models, and the wealth of EU languages. This counts for both the market, and research.
If you are interested in joining the action please write to firstname.lastname@example.org