PODCAST | Chiara Nicoletti interviews Alejandro Moledo, European Disability Forum New Technologies and Innovation officer.
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As a member of the Spanish Blind Association and EDF – European Disability Forum New Technologies and Innovation officer Alejandro Moledo is ARSAD’s Keynote Speaker for this year’s edition. Since one of the issues ARSAD has always analyzed is the huge differences in how accessibility is applied in all the European countries, the best and most important thing to do was to start from the European Directives on the matter. Alejandro Moledo in his presentation – Users’s perspective on a converged media environment – will introduce this topic to his fellow speakers and participants to get their attention on the status of media accessibility in the EU.
Keynote presentation: “Users’s perspective on a converged media environment” The European Union is finally acting on accessibility. After years of advocacy work by persons with disabilities, the EU has finally taken some crucial steps to live up to the obligations enshrined in the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD), ratified by the EU in 2011 and 27 of its Member States. On December 2015, the Commission presented a proposal for a Directive on accessibility requirements for mainstream products and services, the so called “European Accessibility Act”. This Directive covers a set of products and services –with a strong ICT component–, including Audiovisual Media Services and related consumer equipment. Soon after, another proposal for a Directive on the accessibility of websites and mobile apps of public sector bodies was adopted, but with the exemption of public broadcasters. And last but not least, the Commission also presented in 2016 a revision of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive, currently under discussion. Bearing in mind this political environment, organisations of persons with disabilities speak out loud and clear: the whole chain of value should be accessible, from the process of setting up the product to the enhanced use of the new functionalities of the converged audiovisual environment: on-demand video services, video-sharing platforms, multi-content, multi-screen, menu navigation, advanced personalisation, as well as quality access services, which have proven useful for everyone. In particular audio description, which is not limited to the media environment, also benefits from these technological developments: automatic audio description and synchronised second-device solutions are clear examples. However, where is the end-user? What is the reality for everyday people? How can we match technology breakthroughs with the policy discussions? What are the keys to ensure an end-to-end accessibility on media in line with the UN CRPD? The EU is moving, but everything is at stake.
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