TransMedia Catalonia celebrates GAAD 2021 with an immersive accessibility showcase

Logo Transmedia Catalonia - Logo MediaVerseGlobal 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 .

Relevant Publications:

  • 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)

TransMedia Catalonia celebrates GAAD 2021 launch of the stable release of the Media Accessibility Platform (MAP)

The Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) is a worldwide event held every year on the third Thursday of May. The GAAD 2021 will be celebrated on the 20th of May. The GAAD aims at raising awareness about digital access and inclusion.

On 20 May 2021, the Media Accessibility Platform (MAP) will finally end its beta testing and release its stable version.

MAP’s vision is a world where everyone is given access to media. This can only be achieved through an immense global effort, facilitated by sharing information regarding practices, services, technologies, and instruments in media accessibility.

Media accessibility has become a key issue in the worldwide agenda on social and cultural inclusion policies, practices and research. Many national and international institutions have been drafting or approving specific legislation, recommendations and guidelines. Social organisations have been lobbying and raising awareness about this issue; the industry has been developing new technical solutions; researchers have been testing access services, carrying out reception studies, suggesting new approaches to accessibility studies and to accessibility methodology in research, and providing training in the various modalities linked to media accessibility. All of these efforts have produced a massive amount of information on media accessibility from a variety of perspectives that is constantly and rapidly increasing. Unfortunately, most of this information cannot be easily found and accessed because it is fragmented amongst different repositories and languages. This has been having a negative impact on the development of a unified research and policy agenda that can tackle the challenge of creating a globally-inclusive society.

The Media Accessibility Platform aims at providing a unified atlas charting the worldwide landscape of media accessibility through the creation of a structured platform that acts as a hub for research, policies, training and practices in this field.

MAP’s database collects publications, events, projects, training courses, legislations, regulations and guidelines. The database is constantly updated thanks to the work of many collaborators and currently collects over 2.000 publications, 700 conference presentations and 140 laws and regulations.

The Media Accessibility Platform was initiated in 2016 by Gian Maria Greco (University of Warsaw & POIESIS), Anna Matamala (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona), Pilar Orero  (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona), and Pablo Romero Fresco (University of Vigo). Since 2018, MAP has been hosted by TransMedia Catalonia research group. Over the years, it has received funding and support from various agencies, including: the EU Commission, PADIR (UAB), and the Spanish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities. Currently, MAP collaborates with the European network LEAD-ME and is supported by the ALMA network.


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