RNIB’s Broadcast and Audio Description Innovation Manager Sonali Rai was invited by the organisers of M-enabling Summit to participate in the panel on Accessible Media Platforms. The prestigious global summit is dedicated to making connected things and services accessible for all.
She spoke on audio description, accessible media platforms and the recent developments in the Immersive Accessibility Project which is funded by the European Commissions’ Horizon 2020 Programme to an audience of some 100 people, mainly accessibility professionals from government, industry, and advocacy organisations from around the world.
Figure 1: screenshot of the M-Enabling Summit website with information about Sonali Rai and a picture of her on the top right, all on a dark blue and light blue background
She began by explaining what ‘accessible entertainment and viewer experience’ means and why it is even more important now to consider the user requirements of people with disabilities while planning a new entertainment service. Media consumption is booming across the world with broadcasters experimenting with new formats, presentation styles and viewers watching content on more platforms than ever before. Also, the increase in the availability of access features for various reasons including tighter regulations around the world has led to greater awareness and expectations from the end user community. Therefore, innovation will be key ensuring that the needs of this community are met swiftly and efficiently.
“The ImAc Project is the perfect example where work is underway to explore creative ways in which accessibility can be integrated into immersive formats,” explained Rai. “The whole conversation around making the 360 visual-format immersive for people with sensory loss has led us to spatial audio and the potential it offers to enhance the experience of people who rely on audio description and subtitles for watching TV.”
For more information, visit the M-enabling Summit website.