About the conference series
The Unlimited! conferences are an opportunity to discuss research, practice, policy and technological innovation regarding the accessibility of live events and broadcasts. Stakeholders from varying backgrounds and domains come together to pinpoint challenges, share best practices and explore convergences and new collaborations about a growing range of services and products that make live events and broadcasts more accessible for diverse audiences - think of audio description, audio surtitling, audio subtitling, surtitling and sign language. The first Unlimited! conference was organized by the TricS research group of the University of Antwerp on April 26, 2016. The second Unlimited! conference was held in Barcelona on June 6, 2018 and was a cooperation between the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB) and the EU-funded project Accessible Culture and Training (ACT).
The provision of accessibility services for live events is gaining prominence throughout the world and the role of technological innovations in these developments is paramount. Unlimited! 3 would like to pay tribute to the new opportunities created by innovation. It will explore new developments in access services including audio description, audio surtitling, audio subtitling, surtitling for the hearing impaired, and sign language.
These new opportunities also pose major challenges, however. Stakeholders have to learn to navigate the variations and complexities that characterize this domain. They have to know how to choose the most appropriate manner in which to provide access services depending on the specific needs and possibilities of a given situation: live, pre-recorded or integrated audio description, open or closed captioning, respeaking or velotype, to name just a few. In addition, new and innovative practices give rise to new professional profiles and new training needs.
Consequently, cooperation and innovation have become key factors in the field of live accessibility, as stakeholders realize that the integration of live access from the outset rather than in post-production opens up new opportunities and avenues for innovation and research.
The third Unlimited! Symposium aims to explore the challenges and innovative solutions in live accessibility and bring together stakeholders to share experiences. We invite contributions from a wide variety of stakeholders - researchers, practitioners, technicians, funders, policy-makers, users, artists and cultural venues - to share their best practices regarding accessible theatre, ballet, hybrid performances, conferences, sports and any other live (cultural) event or type of performance that is (or should be) made accessible in any part of the world.
The third Unlimited! conference Innovation for Access: New Interactions will be hosted by the OPEN Expertise Centre for Accessible Media and Culture and the TricS research group of the University of Antwerp on July 2nd and 3rd, 2020 at its City Campus.
The OPEN Expertise Centre for Accessible Media and Culture is responsible for hosting the Unlimited! Conference series. Meet our team:
Pablo Romero-Fresco (University of Vigo)
Agnieszka Szarkowska (University of Warsaw)
Louise Fryer (University College London; VocalEyes)
Anna Matamala (Autonomous University of Barcelona)
Pilar Orero (Autonomous University of Barcelona)
Elena Di Giovanni (University of Macerata)
Elisa Perego (University of Trieste)
Rai Sonali (Royal National Institute of the Blind)
Nathalie Mälzer (University of Hildesheim)
David Mass (Panthea)
Andreas Tai (Institut für Rundfunktechnik München)
Maaike Bleeker (Universiteit Utrecht)
Anna Jankowska (Autonomous University of Barcelona)
Hayley Dawson (University of Roehampton)
Jemina Napier (Catholic University of Leuven)
Heidi Salaets (Catholic University of Leuven)
Gert Vercauteren (University of Antwerp)