OPEN supports the accessibility research of the TricS research group of the University of Antwerp and applies the results to the professional field. 

TricS has many years of experience in the field of research into audiovisual translation and media accessibility, through doctorates, European research projects, conferences and workshops. Since 2016, TricS has conferred three doctorates: 

  • "A narratological approach to content selection in audio description", defended by Gert Vercauteren in 2016. 
  • "Translating documentaries: does the integration of a bilingual glossary of domain-specific terminology into the translation process reduce the translators' workload?", by Sabien Hanoulle, defended in 2017. 
  • "Audio description in Dutch: a corpus-based study into the linguistic features of a new, multimodal text type", by Nina Reviers, defended in 2018. 

More information about the ongoing (doctoral) research projects in Media Accessibility can be found below.

TricS is also the organizer of several international conferences on media accessibility, such as the "Third international symposium on live subtitling with speech recognition" (2010), "Media for All" (2009) and "Unlimited!" (2016). In addition, it has extensive experience in teaching research-based but practice-oriented workshops. TricS is also a partner in three European projects on accessible media and culture funded by the European Union under the Erasmus+ programme. More information on this programme can be found below.  


  • Subtitles for access to education: Exploring the impact of intralingual and interlingual subtitling of L2 English university lectures on cognitive load and comprehension.

    University of Antwerp

    This research project focuses on the subtitling of lectures taught in L2 English, more specifically on how subtitling influences student comprehension of lectures and on what mental effort that subtitling requires from students. This topic is inspired by one of the greatest challenges in higher education in the 21st century: providing educational access to an increasingly multilingual and multicultural student population.

    More information

  • Live subtitling for access to education: a pilot study of university students' reception of intralingual live subtitles.

    University of Antwerp

    The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities identifies accessibility to education as one of the areas where accessibility should be ensured. At the University of Antwerp, accessibility services are offered to individual students with disabilities; however, the offer does not yet include the use of new technologies, which have a real potential to remove linguistic, physical and cultural barriers for a large and diverse student population. One such innovative technology is live subtitling, which makes lectures in large lecture halls more accessible to all students present: not only deaf and hard of hearing students, but also students whose mother tongue is not the language of the lecture.

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  • CoReAD - Cognitive Research in AD - Towards a model determining cognitive load in audio described audio(-visual) products.

    Bonnie Geerinck (University of Antwerp)

    In recent decades, research into audio description (AD) has become increasingly popular and AD has been approached from a variety of perspectives. However, its cognitive dimension has not yet received the attention it deserves. Although recent technological innovations have made it possible to directly measure which cognitive effects audiovisual products have on the human mind, within the field of media accessibility a methodological framework to carry out this kind of experimental research is still lacking. 

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    Led by the University of Vigo, Spain

    The ILSA project, led by the University of Vigo, started in 2018 and investigates the accessibility of media for the deaf and hard of hearing. In this area, access to live content such as news and public events has always been an important priority. In addition to sign languagea technique that is often used is respeakingRespeakers are subtitlers who produce live subtitleseither in shorter formulations of the spoken text in their own language, or in translationThey listen to the original soundtrack of a program and reformulate or translate what they hear using speech recognition software that immediately converts this spoken text into subtitles or subtitles. These can be used by anyone who wants to support his or her viewing experience with visual text.

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    Led by the University of Trieste, Italy

    The European ADLAB PRO project, led by the University of Trieste, started in 2016 and ends in 2019. ADLAB PRO is the natural continuation of ADLAB (Audio-Description: Life-Long Access for the Blind), which developed European guidelines for the writing of audio transcripts. ADLAB PRO focuses on training professional audio describers. These professionals can write and produce high-quality audio descriptions, i.e. short oral translations of visual information, making various cultural productssuch as audiovisual media, exhibitions and live events, accessible to the blind and partially sightedTo this end, ADLAB PRO is designing a new, state-of-the-art curriculum and developing teaching materials that will be available free of charge. The project activities will be carried out by eight partners from seven European countries belonging to both the academic and professional worlds

    More information is available on the ADLAB PRO website. 


    Led by the Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain

    The European ACT project started in 2016 and ended in August 2018. It is a collaboration between partners from academia, cultural life and government. The University of Antwerp is one of the partners. Although accessibility already plays an important role in the modern knowledge-based information society, it often develops at different speeds in different fields and these different developments are insufficiently coordinated, also within the cultural sector. There is therefore a need within the sector for a new professional profile, namely that of an accessibility manager. In a first phase of research, the ACT project developed the profile of this accessibility manager. He or she should have all the necessary competences to manage and coordinate the many developments in the field of accessibility within the cultural sector. In a subsequent phase, the consortium developed an online course in the form of a MOOC, Massive Open Online Course. This course can be followed free of charge by anyone in the world who would like to add the profile of "accessibility manager" to his or her CV.

    More on the ACT project website