LEAD-ME logo

Researching Accessibility LEAD ME Workgroups Meeting

Researching Accessibility

23 February 2023

UNO Building in Vienna, Room M6
International Center Vienna - https://goo.gl/maps/nLvAnw1kUJ76WALAA

Video Call Link: https://meet.google.com/yff-wodr-fuz

Zero Project Conference Website: https://www.b2match.com/e/zero-project-conference-2023/components/23417


Time (CET)
10:00 - 10:05Welcome & Introduction, Annette Wilson (RBB, Germany) & Krzysztof Krejtz (SWPS University, Poland)
10:05 - 10:15Overview of research projects on accessibility in Europe, Krzysztof Krejtz (SWPS University, Poland)
10:15 - 10:30Accessibility in higher education, Ann Marcus-Quinn (University of Limerick, Ireland)
10:30 - 10:45Automatic Sign Language Translation: dos and dreams, Giacomo Inches (Martel Innovate, Switzerland)
10:45 - 11:00Testing environment for subtitles in 360 videos, Andrew T. Duchowski (Clemson University, SC, USA) & Christopher J. Hughes (Salford University)
11:00 - 11:15Subtitles in 360º video. Results from an eye-tracking experiment, Marta Brascia-Zapata (Universitat Autonoma Barcelona, Spain)
11:15 - 11:30COFFEE BREAK
11:30 - 11:45The Friendly City project to perceive the Lodz's architectural heritage by the blind and visually impaired people, Aneta Pawłowska & Piotr Milczarski (University of Łódź)
11:45 - 12:00Accessibility by default: three examples of EU funding: MILE, MediaVerse, and GreenSCENT, Pilar Orero (Universitat Autonoma Barcelona, Spain)
12:00 - 12:15Role of AI in promoting European Accessibility Policy, Krishna Chandramouli (Queen Mary University of London, UK)
12:15 - 12:30Overview of EU fundings for research projects on accessibility, Annette Willson (RBB, Germany)
12:30 - 13:00Panel Discussion: What’s next? Perspectives on Accessibility Research and Development


Accessibility in Higher Education

Speaker: Ann Marcus-Quinn (University of Limerick, Ireland)

Abstract: Since the late 1990s universities and institutions of higher education have maintained an online presence in the form of a website. Many early versions of these websites did not offer what is now considered an equitable online experience to all users. However, in recent years much more attention is being paid to the accessibility of websites. In order to comply with European legislation passed in 2019, public sector organizations and private companies and organizations are required to check the accessibility of their websites, mobile apps, and media content. This short presentation aims to offer insight into the accessibility of university and college websites by reporting on the actual performance of individual websites. The researchers used Google Lighthouse (an open-source online tool) to measure the quality of individual web pages checking for: performance, accessibility, best practices, search engine optimisation and overall performance. Preliminary findings suggest that there is a significant difference in the overall accessibility scores between universities and colleges in Northern European and Southern European regions. This dataset will enable stakeholders to identify how an institution is performing when compared with similar organizations and potentially serve as a catalyst for changes and improvements to individual performance scores.

The Friendly City project to perceive the Lodz's architectural heritage by the blind and visually impaired people

Authors: Aneta Pawłowska (University of Łódź), Piotr Milczarski (University of Łódź), Daria Rutkowska-Siuda (University of Łódź), Krzysztof Krejtz (SWPS University), Izabela Krejtz (SWPS University) Anna Wendorff (University of Łódź), Artur Hłobaż (University of Łódź), Magdalena Milerowska (University of Łódź), Adam Drozdowski (University of Łódź), Anna Śniegula (University of Łódź), Norbert Borowski (University of Łódź), Andrew Duchowski (Clemson University)

Speakers: Aneta Pawłowska & Piotr Milczarski (University of Łódź)

Abstract: People with disabilities want full participation in visual culture and access to historical heritage. An educational project in Łódź called 'Art of Lodz against the European art. Excluded / Included' with the participation of people with disabilities provided the best evidence of this. During surveys conducted with 750 beneficiaries, they all indicated the need for stronger support in the area of access to culture and art. The Friendly City project (FCP) supports the blind and visually impaired (BVI) people to perceive the local architectural heritage in Lodz (Poland). The multidisciplinary project aims on promoting the accessibility of architectural heritage to the BVI community by adding Audio Descriptions (AD) to 85 public places. The ADs in FCP are guided by insights from an eye-tracking study on the perception of architecture by novices and experts, and interviews with BVIs from the Lodz association. The project supports the independence of movement of BVI people in the city center using public transport by installing 200 Bluetooth beacons on city stops and in public places. The beacon devices communicate with smartphones of BVIs and sighted people via a mobile application. The system and applications for FCP are designed with the principles of universal user-centered design. The signals will help people with BVIs to locate the stop with voice messages about the distance and location.

A testing environment for subtitles in 360 videos

Authors: Andrew T. Duchowski (Clemson University, SC, USA) & Christopher J. Hughes (Salford University)

Speaker: Andrew T. Duchowski (Clemson University, SC, USA)

Abstract: TBA …

Subtitles in 360º video. Results from an eye-tracking experiment

Speaker: Marta Brascia-Zapata (Universitat Autonoma Barcelona, Spain)

Abstract: Virtual and Augmented Reality are key technologies for the next generation of human-computer-human interaction. In this context, 360º videos are becoming ubiquitous and especially suitable for providing immersive experiences thanks to the proliferation of affordable devices. This new medium has an untapped potential for the inclusion of modern subtitles to foster media content accessibility, e.g., for the deaf or hard-of-hearing people, and to also promote cultural inclusivity via language translation. The aim of this talk is twofold: On the one hand, the main challenges that immersive media pose when implementing accessible subtitles will be explained. On the other hand, a recent study on accessible, immersive subtitles with hearing and deaf users will be presented. Results from this study shed light on the many possibilities for a future generation of fully accessible immersive media environments.

Automatic Sign Language Translation: dos and dreams

Speaker: Giacomo Inches (Martel Innovate, Switzerland)

Abstract: Automatic Sign Language Translation (ASLT) is gaining momentum in Europe, not just in the research field but also in the market, in the wake of the recent legislative framework.In this talk we will highlight some recent initiative in Europe addressing ASLT i.e. the EASIER project and the lessons learned towards creating an ecosystem where end-users actually benefit from innovation.

Accessibility by default: three examples of EU funding: MILE, MediaVerse and GreenSCENT

Speaker: Pilar Orero (University Autonoma Barcelona, Spain)

Abstract: EU new legislation on Media Accessibility has triggered a number of standards to consider accessibility media services and products from design and production, rather than post-production. This accessibility by default approach should be applied to any industrial sector which is IT related. Two EU funded projects have adopted this accessibility by default approach, and the presentation will show how accessibility is now moving from being an object of research, to being applied to other fields of research such as Media Sustainability.

Role of AI in promoting European Accessibility Policy

Speaker: Krishna Chandramouli (Queen Mary University of London, UK)

Abstract: Following the wide-scope of adoption of digital transformation services, across every-day activities, there is a critical need to ensure all citizens are offered equal opportunities for interacting with such digital interfaces. To this end, the recently published European Accessibility Act (EAA) provides a regulatory framework which has offered the citizens new and improved ways of interacting with digital technologies. Addressing the changing landscape and paradigm shift, in this speech, a systematic framework on the role of AI technologies in promoting EAA policy is presented. The proposed framework will establish a formal definition of digital content accessibility, that refers to the inclusive practice of making digital content usable and comprehensible by all citizens (for people with abilities and disabilities included). Within the current adoption of digital transformation strategies, the notion of accessibility has been widely addressed within the context of information being shared through Internet services. Extending beyond the scope of the W3C standards, the proposed AI framework will consider a broad scope of recent technologies such as chatbots, question-answering systems, speech synthesis tools, computer vision technologies, gesture recognition algorithms, multimodal haptic device interfaces and others.