On December 9, a workshop on “Quality in Audiovisual Media Accessibility Services” took place at Bilkent University. The event, organized by Prof. Mümtaz Kaya of Hacettepe University and Assoc. Prof. Şirin Okyayüz and Ebru Kanık of Bilkent University, was supported by academics from İstanbul University and Çankaya University and sponsored by TÜBİTAK, the Turkish Audio Description Association (SEBEDER) and providers of audiovisual interpreting services. The aim of the workshop was to compose a road map for the provision of accessibility services for the deaf, hard-of-hearing and visually impaired following the 11 October 2019–dated regulation passed by the Radio and Television Supreme Council mandating the addition of inter- and intralingual subtitles, audio description and sign language interpreting for programs on national media.
This was the second workshop on the systematic provision of media accessibility services for the disabled held in Turkey pursuant to the ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the adoption of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive by the European Parliament and the implementation of other international initiatives in support of media accessibility for the disabled. In Turkey, the first sector-inclusive initiative on the subject concluded in January 15 of this year with a workshop held by the Turkish Radio and Television Supreme Council, where a resolution was published setting out an initial road map for the provision of media accessibility in Turkey. Following this resolution, which focused on quantity and technical standards, academics from the translation and interpreting departments of Bilkent University and Hacettepe University organized a second workshop concentrating on quality of the services to be provided.
The guest speakers for the December 9 event included Simão Campos from the United Nations/International Telecommunication Union; Prof. Pilar Orero, a prolific author and researcher in the field from Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona; and Prof. Pablo Romero-Fresco Ramón y Cajal, researcher at Universidade de Vigo (Spain) and honorary professor of translation and filmmaking at the University of Roehampton in London. Present at the workshop were Radio and Television Supreme Council member Nurullah Öztürk; experts from the Office of the Presidency; sectoral experts from the Republic of Turkey Vocational Qualifications Authority, the Turkish Confederation of the Deaf, the Turkish Association for Audio Description and the Sign Language Interpreters Association; representatives of the Anadolu News Agency, various digital media platforms and other national media service providers; and professional audio describers, subtitlers for the deaf and hard-of-hearing, and sign language interpreters, along with experts and academics from Turkish universities.
The discussions, held in two panel sessions over the course of the day, resulted in the drafting of resolutions for a list of steps to be taken by the sector for the provision of high-quality accessibility services, which is to be shared with interested parties and the public through various platforms.
Further information about the event is available (in Turkish) at gimek.net.