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The Accessible Virtual Community
Entertainment and Culture
Spectatorship, security, safety, and comfort are amidst the unique considerations of sports and entertainment venues. Kim A Beasley and Thomas D. Davies say it well in Chapter 47 of The Universal Design Handbook. "Accessibility is achieved through careful coordination between the facility owners, the designers, the operators, and the end users." In addition to the key resources here in the Virtual Community, to search for more related information, you can go to our Search Page.
"On Tuesday September 28, 2010, 9:28 p.m., the "21st Century Communications & Video Accessibility Act of 2010" passed by a voice vote in the U.S. House of Representatives. This was the last legislative hurdle for a bill that all of us began working on several years ago. Next stop is the White House when President Obama will sign the measure, putting it into law. After that, implementation and enforcement processes start at the Federal Communications Commission, the federal agency with most responsibility."
"Video description is designed to make television programming more accessible to persons with visual disabilities, and enable them to “hear what they cannot see. Thus, the primary audience for video description is persons with visual disabilities. Estimates of the number of persons with visual disabilities are as high as twelve million. This estimate includes persons with a problem seeing that cannot be corrected with ordinary glasses or contact lenses, with a range in severity." (Quote from a Report and Order before the Federal Communications Commission, released August 7, 2000)
Coalition of Agencies for Accessible Technology
This link provides downloadable access symbols, provided copyright free, for closed captioning, descriptive video, and web access.
This printable checklist addresses making the arts more accessible for people with disabilities.
National Endowment for the Arts
This website out of Australia has as its vision, "A society in which people with disabilities fully experience and participate in the arts and cultural life." A lot of information is available on this site, including projects, newsletter, training, and resources. However, the website lacks accessibility features.
Accessing the Arts (Australia)
Description is the verbal depiction of key visual elements in media and live productions. Also known as “audio description” or “video description,” the description of media involves the interspersion of these depictions with the program’s original audio. "Description is the key to opening a world of information for persons with a vision loss, literacy needs, or loss of cognitive abilities. While description was developed for people who are blind or visually impaired, millions of others may also benefit from description’s concise, objective translation of media’s key visual components.
These guidelines are a key for vendors and cover a range of topics from preparing to describe to determining both what information needs to be described and how to describe it. The information is also applicable to vendors and other businesses [PDF] that provide description for broadcast television and other media. Some background information and rationale are included for the novice, as well as an evolving list of description resources to help improve the quality and efficiency of one’s description."
This web page includes a more detailed definition, philosophy and more.
Described and Captioned Media Program, in conjunction with The National Association for the Deaf and the American asociation for the Blind
"Digital Wheel Art is an interactive system that helps individuals with disabilities express themselves in artistic ways. It also gives general audiences an opportunity to explore and rethink disabilities through art."
Younghyun Chung - Graduate student researcher
Are you having difficulty playing regular games? Do you want to know which games are suited for certain impairments? This section contains information about playing games with a visual disability, auditory disability, physical disability or a learning disability.
Game Accessibility website
This web page provides a short list of tips to make library databases more accessible. Some tips include speech output systems and electronic resources.
Washington University, DO-IT
On this page you will find links to relevant reports concerning library accessibility: See #90 Designing and Building Integrated Digital Library Systems-Guidelines; and # 89 Access to libraries for persons with disabilities checklist as separate entries on this website and find other articles, including Libraries for the Blind in the Information Age - Guidelines for development, and Guidelines for Library Services to Persons with Dyslexia or Alzheimer’s and others. (Several foreign language citations).
International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, The Hague
Equal Access: Universal Design of Libraries is a six-page document covering the importance of designing a library for people with a variety of abilities, disabilities, and characteristics. Included is a list of questions that can be asked to ensure that the facility is accessible to everyone.
Equal Access:Unversal Design
"A resource to support the inclusion of people with disabilities in performing groups. This guide provides information and strategies to assist community groups and organizations to include people with disabilities in performing arts activities.The guide also addresses some of the issues that may arise in bringing about meaningful participation in performance-based arts activities for people with disabilities."
City of Darebin website
This Power Point lists limitations to childhood games and how they can become more accessible. Links are provided on the Power Point which lists games that can be further adapted.
Though most of us are thoroughly familiar with closed captioning, video description is a lesser-known but equally essential service used by people with disabilities to access TV. Video description is defined as, "recorded narration of key visual elements of a TV program or movie, timed to fit into the gaps in dialog, and scripted to enable understanding and enjoyment of visual media by people who are blind or visually impaired." A demonstration is available through a video clip of the "Arthur" cartoon.
Federal Communications Commisssion (FCC)
The Touch Graphics website offers state of the art/science multisensory products, such as tactile maps and talking tactile tablets, for education and exhibits.Touch Graphics products have been developed through a series of research grants from the National Science Foundation and the US Department of Education.
Touch Graphic, Inc.
The NADC web site offers free resource directories, annotated bibliographies, and materials and articles on a wide array of subjects promoting the full inclusion of audiences and artists with disabilities into all facets of the arts community. The web site contains the equivalent of over 600 pages of information.
University of California Los Angeles, Tarjan Center
"Accessible Arts is working across the Western Sydney region, raising awareness and creating opprotunities in the arts for people with disability. Our work seeks to raise the profile of arts & disability through various model projects, creative programs and strategic initiatives, and through the provision of information, advice and training, improving access to the arts for people with disability." A list of art centers, activities, and resources are provided.
This June 30, 2010 blog article provides an update on YouTube captioning of videos. "Captioning is becoming increasingly important to YouTube and videos all across the web. Captions ensure that many more people can understand what's happening in your video, from deaf and hard of hearing viewers to people who speak a different language from you and choose to auto-translate the captions into their language. Captions also make your video a lot more discoverable. People searching for content on YouTube might encounter your video if your captions contain the words or subjects they're looking for."
This page has accessibility examples in theatres and entertainment venues. This website "bridges the world of theater and architecture".
Sachs Morgan Studio
An example of video description, "This video excerpt is provided courtesy of the Sesame Workshop. Description produced and coordinated by NCI Described Media, the American Council of the Blind’s Audio Description Project, and Audio Description Associates; captioning produced by VITAC; all technical services courtesy of Dominion Post."
COAT (Coalition of Organizations for Accessible Technology)
This pdf document contains Smithsonian Guidelines for Accessible Exhibition Design. Accessible design must be a part of the new philosophy of exhibition development because people with disabilities are a part of museums diverse audience. Discovering exciting, attractive ways to make exhibitions accessible will most directly serve people with disabilities and older adults. But to name an audience who will not benefit by these designs is impossible. Accessibility begins as a mandate to serve people who have been discriminated against for centuries; it prevails as a tool that serves diverse audiences for a lifetime.
Smithsonian Accessibility Program
This website provides a 33 page pdf document (available for download) from the Audio Description Coalition offers guidelines and a Code of Professional Conduct for Describers. The document was compiled by a group of audio describers and trainers from across the United States, based on their combined training, experience, knowledge, and resources. For more information, contact www.AudioDescriptionCoalition.org.
Audio Description Coalition
This is a list of online sources for electronic books, magazines, newspaper articles, and other material. The files are in a variety of formats ranging from plain text to digital audio and digital braille. Most material is public domain literature and free of charge, although some do charge a subscription fee for content and/or proprietary software.
THE BLIND READERS' PAGE
How the Boston Museum of Science integrates Universal Design into exhibit development. Includes the "look and feel" of an exhibit; technical design, from odor delivery systems to accessible computer interfaces; content - what is presented and how ; formative and summative evaluation; planning for accessibility (universal design) and maintenance of exhibit displays and interactives; construction of the space and its components; and lnks with related school and public programing, from plays and public demonstrations to classroom kits and school programs.
Boston Museum of Science
"How do you see disability? Student designers at CATEA produced these art works to illustrate that a disability is a characteristic, not incapacity, and provides a person with a different set of tools to use in navigating the world."