International Symposium on Accessible Live Events
University of Antwerp, 29 April 2016
Accessibility is rapidly becoming standard and an integral part of many live events today. Unlimited would like to pay tribute to this development and draw a map of the current state of play, focusing on audio description, including audio-surtitling and audio-subtitling, surtitling for the hearing impaired, and sign language.
Research (www.adlabproject.eu) has demonstrated that accessibility of live events is becoming more and more common throughout the world, but also that great variation exists in the way and pace at which live accessibility is being developed and in the domains in which it is gaining prominence. In fact, variation and multiplicity may be central features of live accessibility today. The prioritized types and forms of accessibility vary from region to region and country to country, and availability is not always governed by the needs of the target groups. This may relate to the degree to which initiatives are supported and subsidized by local and/or national governments. The above, in turn, impacts on the scope of accessible design, for instance in terms of the number of productions that are made accessible in the first place, whether accessibility is provided and implemented by volunteers or professionals or the degree to which technological solutions have played a role. Last but not least, lobbying by user associations proves to be crucial to extending the provision and raising the quality of live accessibility.
The first Unlimited symposium invites contributions from scholars, practitioners, technicians, funders, policy-makers and users of inclusive design and post-production accessibility provision for theatre, ballet, hybrid performances, processions, sports and any other live (cultural) event or type of performance that is being made accessible (or should be made accessible) in any part of the world.