MEDIA RELEASE: For the first time, more than 20 matches at the upcoming EHF European Championship will feature live audio description for blind and visually impaired fans.
The European Handball Federation takes a major step forward around inclusion at the upcoming Men’s EHF EURO 2024 in Germany (10-28 January), offering for the first time a live audio description service for blind and visually impaired fans at more than 20 matches.
All matches of the German national team as well as a top game on any other matchday will be included in the service which is offered free of charge via an integrated player on the official EHF EURO 2024 website.
The service is available for all fans – those in the arena and those who are following the matches from elsewhere.
Audio description stands for the professional auditory narration through experienced reporters. It enables visually impaired fans to follow the 60 minutes of play, with everything that is happening on and off the handball court explained in detail.
The web player with all streams will be accessible at https://ehfeuro.eurohandball.com/men/2024/. In the preliminary round live audio description will be offered at the following matches
10 January, 20:45 hrs: Germany vs Switzerland
11 January, 20:30 hrs: Denmark vs Czechia
12 January, 20:30 hrs: Spain vs Croatia
3 January, 20:30 hrs: Faroe Islands – Norway
14 January, 20:30 hrs: North Macedonia vs Germany
15 January, 20:30 hrs: Sweden vs Netherlands
16 January, 20:30 hrs: France vs Germany
All preliminary round matches will have German audio description. The schedule for the main round will be released once the matches are known.
Provided that the German national team qualifies for the main round, their main round matches from Cologne will have live audio description in German.
The matches from the main round in Hamburg will be streamed with English description; matches of the final weekend will be featured with English and German description.
Experienced partners on board
To deliver the best possible service, the European Handball Federation has partnered with experienced supporters and providers of live audio description.
Deutsche Kreditbank AG (DKB) is the sponsor of the live audio description at the Men’s EHF EURO 2024. The German bank first supported an audio description service at the IHF Men’s World Championship 2023. Following this successful start, the service and the support has been extended to matches of the German national team as well as to selected matches in the German handball Bundesliga.
German company mycrocast GmbH provides the technology behind the audio description. They have developed an open ‘SaaS‘ audio platform that breaks down barriers with audio and makes inclusion on site and remotely easier. Instead of specialised hardware, all what is needed to listen is a smartphone. The Magdeburg-based start-up has recently won the German Sustainability Award for Sports in the media category for its solution.
The experienced reporters at the matches are provided by ‘T_Ohr’, a play on words with the German words for ‘goal’ (Tor) and ‘ear’ (Ohr). The German project, organised under the AWO-Südwest gGmbh, provides live audio description for visually impaired for a variety of sports thus making live events more accessible for everyone.
Martin Hausleitner, Secretary General of the European Handball Federation, says: “The participation of people with disabilities in our social life is very important to the EHF. That's why we want to offer visually impaired sports fans the opportunity to experience the thrilling matches of the EHF EURO 2024 in real time. The audio description streams, which we are implementing together with the DKB, are an important step towards making our fascinating sport of handball accessible to even more people.”
Jan Walther, Member of the Board of Directors of DKB, comments: “The audio description brings handball enthusiast, who are blind or visually impaired, closer to the game. With vivid descriptions of processes, strategies, and moods, they can experience the excitement and enthusiasm of handball just as intensely. The true passion for handball knows no barriers – it opens new perspectives and creates inclusive communities where everyone can share their enthusiasm.”
Marcel Heße, CEO and founder of mycrocast, says: “Following our successful start in the German handball Bundesliga, we are delighted to be able to take the next big step in handball on the international stage together with the DKB and the EHF. Inclusion beyond football is ultimately part of our fundamental commitment as a company.”
Dr. Barbara Krimm, Managing Director of AWO-Südwest, says: “We are delighted to continue our journey towards a more inclusive society by providing live audio description at the Men’s EHF EURO 2024 in front of the largest imaginable audience that handball has to offer. Together, we move one step closer towards, visually impaired individuals no longer asking themselves if they are able to participate, but rather, if they want to.”
Über die DKB:
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