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Specialist Task Force 286: 

Access symbols for use with video content and ICT devices

Who we are:

Team Leader : Walter Mellors

Team Members : Richard Hodgkinson
Clive Miller

What we do :

The STF is funded by EC/EFTA to produce an ETSI Standard on access symbols for use with video content and ICT devices.

We have now completed the testing of the family of symbols suitable for a wide range of contexts. We would like to thank all of you who assisted our work by taking part in the tests.

The draft of the standard containing the chosen symbols was accepted to go for members' vote at the HF meeting in June as ES 202 432

The Technical Report which describes the development and testing of the symbols was approved for publication at the HF meeting in September

Tactile and auditory equivalents of the symbols were tested at Sight Village in Birmingham, England. The photographs show a tactile test in progress and a general view of part of the exhibition (Download Mission Report).

Picture 1: Tactile test in progress     Picture 2: General view of part of the exhibition

The STF has had a number of liaison meetings and made various presentations during the work. Some are listed below:

Read our Terms of Reference

Why we do it:

The work of the STF will address the central philosophy of the eEurope action plan.

"The Lisbon strategy is not just about productivity and growth but also about employment and social cohesion. eEurope 2005 puts users at the centre.  It will improve participation, open up opportunities for everyone and enhance skills.” eEurope 2005".

To enable video media to be accessible to sight impaired, deaf and hard of hearing people, the video content must be supplemented with special access services. These services include subtitling, where text is displayed to convey content that would otherwise only be audible; signing, as a substitute for text for users whose native language is signing; and audio description for sight impaired users who benefit from an audible representation of the visual content. For sight impaired users of mobile telephones, which conventionally rely heavily on visual interaction, the provision of voice command and voice output facilities can enable access.

Access services are becoming increasingly available, but a significant barrier to their use is lack of consumer awareness. To inform users or their carers that such access services are available, a common global set of language-independent symbols are required.

The work will contribute to the implementation of the eEurope 2005 Action Plan in the area of e-inclusion and promote a common approach by network providers and equipment manufacturers in developing products and services that respond to the specific needs of people with disabilities.

Through the involvement of stakeholders the work will facilitate the revision of European and international standards with the view to better respecting the specific needs of disabled users.

Time plan for the work:

We intend to complete our work in November 2006 and publish the standard by February 2007.

How to contact us:

If you would like more information, please contact the STF Leader:

Note: this information is based upon STF working assumptions.
The views expressed do not necessarily represent the position of ETSI in this context.

Last updated: 2010-02-18 10:21:48