New Project Maps Accessible Spaces Around Brno Using Video

The Brno creative group Handmedia at ParaCENTRUM Fénix has come up with an imaginative way of mapping the accessibility of companies, restaurants, institutions and other public places, by swapping descriptions for video. Photo: ParaCENTRUM Fénix.

Brno, Nov 4 (BD) – The group produce instructional videos that capture the selected location and explain how it is accessible for wheelchair users. Animations and subtitles complete the videos, so everyone can find the information they need. The videos also describe parking, arrival, accessibility of toilets, movement in the corridors, the height of the reception desk, floor incline, doors, and anything else wheelchair users might need to know. The idea is to give viewers the confidence to feel that they can use the building.

One advantage that the six-member team has is that they are all themselves disabled, so know exactly what information should be included. Jan Vočka of Handmedia explained the production process: “The actual shooting takes 4-5 hours. But we have to add all the work around that is equally important, preparation for the shooting including a tour of the building, selection of suitable shooting spaces, shooting scenario, preparation of texts. Further processing will include video editing, music creation and mixing, graphics, dimensioning, dictation of texts. Last but not least, organization is important. One minute of video is estimated to be 15 hours of work.”

The project is currently supported by the City of Brno, though the group are looking for extra funding from private sources. The videos they are producing represent a different approach than previous attempts to provide mapping information for disabled people, as Vočka explains: “The fundamental change is that the video delivers visual information. The viewer can evaluate how accessible the documented area is. The video also includes parameters of the spaces in which the wheelchair moves. We want to provide the most accurate information, and we hope that projects like Vozejkmap will complement our videos in the future.”

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