"Ref, we know what your car sounds like!"
Every match day, volunteer reporters work to describe the game directly to visually impaired and blind people in German football stadiums. www-fussball-blinden-reportage.de collects these comments. We contributed concept, design and development.
It is the detailed, very accurate description of each match situation that makes the difference to radio reporting. Football Reportage for the Blind tries to put the football match, the events on and off the pitch and in the stadium into words that are accurate to the situation. The aim is to enable non-sighted people to experience football in the same way as people without visual impairments. True to the motto:
»Seeing with your ears«
The basic idea of the website is: to present all information to sighted people in the same way as it has to be prepared for blind people in terms of accessibility, so that the contents can be read out by the computer without any problems. Accordingly, pictures are initially presented only as text - and only become visible by mouseover. Following the leitmotif of »reporting for the blind«. The extremely large font also follows the mission to make it easier for people with visual impairments to visit the site.
All contents and pages, including the navigation structure, can be read completely from top to bottom, as blind people are used to from the read-aloud functions. This is why a result, for example, is not displayed or written »1:1«, but »one-to-one« (as spoken). Audio files of the complete live reports are available for many matches. But the site also contains news and basic information about the Football Blind Reportage project, the competence centre, interesting facts about the volunteer reporters, useful information about visiting stadiums for visually impaired and blind people – with the kind support of barrierefrei-ins-stadion.de.
A special feature is the »Audio-goal of the Month«: in contrast to the Sportschau classic, the best description of a goal is chosen - not the goal itself. Everyone is allowed to vote. You can only vote once, but you are welcome to vote for several successful reports.
Another special feature is the welcome message on the start page. A text summarising the entire engagement is stored there behind the play button as an audio file. The background image only becomes visible when it is played - also following the leitmotif of the page.
By the 2016/17 season at the latest, the operators also expect to publish a comprehensive compendium on the subject of "reporting for the blind" in general.
The site is run by the Centre for Visually Impaired and Blind Reportage (ZSBR), which was launched by the AWO Bundesverband e.V. on 01.09.2014. The centre, which is unique in its form, is supported financially and ideally by Aktion Mensch, the Bundesliga Foundation and the German Football League. The aim is to offer a reportage adapted to the needs of people with visual impairments in every stadium of the clubs from the professional leagues in order to enable participation in the football experience.
Edit 2022: Unfortunately, the site has not been actively operated for a long time. We still think the idea is great. Do you?