The first official presentation of the beta version of the Media Accessibility Platform will be at the 11th Languages and the Media Conference.
The conference will be held in Berlin from 2 to 4 November 2016. It will gather scholars and professionals under the general theme "Agile Mediascapes – Personalising the Future".
MAP will be presente by Gian Maria Greco with a talk titled "Mapping Media Accessibility Across the World". Below the abstract of the talk:
"Media Accessibility is the research area dealing with the theories, practices, services, technologies and instruments that provide access to media products, services, and environments for people that cannot, or cannot properly, access that content in its original form (Greco 2016). Ever since the United Nations adopted the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2006, 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 providing training in the various modalities linked to media accessibility.
All this has produced a massive amount of information on media accessibility that is constantly increasing at a fast rate. Unfortunately, most of this information cannot be easily found and accessed because it is fragmented in different repositories and languages. This is having a negative impact on the development of a unified research and policy agenda that can tackle the challenges of a global inclusive society (HBB4ALL 2014). The Media Accessibility Platform (MAP - www.mapaccess.org) has been designed and created specifically to rise to this challenge. MAP is the first collaborative online platform that provides a unified atlas charting the worldwide landscape of media accessibility through the creation of a structured corpus of the history and the state-of-the-art of: research, policies, training and practices in this field. It provides institutions, industry, organisations, researchers and users with organised and systematic information regarding international, national and local legislation, accessibility media services, success cases, research projects and publications, accessibility by country, information about technologies, work-in-progress, academic and professional training, etc. MAP adopts a holistic approach in which media accessibility tackles not only sensorial barriers but also linguistic ones, thus including audio description, audio subtitling, accessible filmmaking, dubbing, media interpreting, respeaking, revoicing, Sign Language interpreting, subtitling for the deaf and hard of hearing, subtitling, surtitling and voice-over (Orero and Matamala 2007, Romero-Fresco 2013).
MAP is organised into six main sections - Research, Training, Events, Stakeholders, Modalities and Accessometer – each one organised in sub-sections. Research contains information about past and current research projects, publications and conference presentations. Training contains information about university courses, MOOCs and professional training courses. Events contains information about past, current and future conferences, seminars, workshops and so forth. Stakeholders groups pages with detailed information about companies and organisations, such as user associations. Modalities groups all the data contained in MAP and displays it according to the different areas included within media accessibility (subtitling for the deaf and hard-of-hearing, audio description, voice over, etc.). The Accessometer is MAP’s most distinctive feature. It provides an actual map of all the legislation, standards and guidelines on media accessibility at both international and national levels, organised by countries. All the information is uploaded, managed and checked via the threefold structure Contributor-Editor-Administrator. MAP aims to provide a coherent and unified environment to promote global coordination of efforts at different levels related to media accessibility. MAP will foster academic research as well as technological developments, and in the long run support social change. All MAP’s information is open access and released under Creative Commons license.
The presentation will offer an overview of the platform, its rationale, and will discuss future cooperation with anyone interested in contributing to it".
G. M. Greco (2016), ‘On Accessibility as a Human Right, with an application to Media Accessibility’, in A. Matamala and P. Orero (eds.), Researching Audio Description. New Approaches, Palgrave, London, pp. 11-33.