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.

The new COST ACTION Lead Me is now launched

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.

Imatge: Engega la nova COST ACTION Lead Me

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 pilar.orero@uab.cat


Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑