On the Global Accessibility Awareness Day 18 May 2023, the 7th edition of Accessibility Days, the main Italian event on digital accessibility and inclusiveness, took place at the premises of the “Sapienza” Rome university. For 2 days, participants could explore numerous aspects of digital accessibility in more than 60 parallel sessions and workshops, led by sighted and visually impaired national experts, researchers, representatives of national institutions and disability self-representative associations as well as a number of leading enterprises that have digital accessibility as their core business. The aim of this synergic effort is not only to provide a forum to exchange information about the latest developments in the field of digital inclusion, a learning environment for software programmers, website designers and content editors, but also a raising-awareness permanent initiative for public institutions, the general public and in particular the educational sector. Among many other well-known experts, keynote speakers were the representative of the Italian standardisation body UNINFO Roberto Scano, the member of the national Board of the Italian Union of the Blind and Partially Sighted Marino Attini, the representative of Bank of Italy Riccardo Basso, the Director of the Agency for Digital Italy – AGID Mario Nobile.
This 2-day event was held in hybrid format and gathered around 900 participants in person on a total of more than 2300 registered participants. Sign language interpretation and transcription were provided. “After years discussing about digital accessibility, this is the time for action” said Stefano Ottaviani, co-founder of the Accessibility Days association, and this sentence illustrates the concrete approach of this event focussing on results and good practices to disseminate and duplicate. One highlight of the event was the session on audiovisual media with the contribution from remote of Lars Bosselmann, EBU Executive Director, about the European activities aimed at improving accessibility of audio-video media contents. The contribution in the event of the Italian Union of the Blind and Partially Sighted, the other disability organisations and blind and partially sighted ICT experts demonstrated the fundamental role that persons with disabilities play in developing such technologies, in cooperation with the technology business sector and supported by legal standard frameworks. The Italian Union of the Blind and Partially Sighted presented “La città del presente”, a guidebook with design suggestions to improve accessibility in various areas, from the urban environment to everyday life routines of persons with visual impairment, with case studies illustrated by photographs. The Accessibility Days 2023 sessions are available on Youtube at: https://www.youtube.com/c/accessibilitydays. More information on the event can be found at: https://accessibilitydays.it/2023/it/.