Barrier-free at the re:publica


Listen to translation via headphones; credit: Darin Barry, (CC BY 2.0)

Accessibility at the re:publica 2015 doesn’t end at the wheelchair ramp. It’s of utmost importance to us that everyone has access to the sessions: the hearing impaired should be able to participate in our program just like everyone else. And the German language shouldn’t be any kind of obstacle for our international participants either. We’ve received some excellent support to help us achieve our aim!

Stages 1 and 2 (STG-1 and STG-2) will have multiple interpreters simultaneously translating the German talks into English. You’ll get the translation transmitted straight to your ears via headphones. Our thanks go out to the great professional translators that have volunteered their time to assist us: Matthias Bauer, Katharin Tai, Johannes Korn, Vanessa Kleinwächter, Kathrin Grannemann, Anna Brandt and Tanja Barbian ( The necessary technology will be provided by the lingoking online platform. As a global networking platform for language services, lingoking boasts a broad range of services, from the translation and localisation of digital media such as apps and websites, to the more traditional translation of contracts or user manuals, all the way to telephone and on-location interpreters.

For those with a hearing impairment we can once again count on the support of our partner VerbaVoice. Thanks to their speech-to-text interpreters they will guarantee the live subtitling of the talks on Stage 1 (in German or English, depending on the session). Our website also offers subtitling in the live stream thanks to the VerbaVoice player. VerbaVoice is based in Munich and has specialized in barrier-free technologies for the hearing impaired. The social enterprise is mainly active in education and the event sector.

For all participants who are wheelchair users, the STATION Berlin is equipped with ramps at all key entrances. There is a wheelchair-accessible elevator in Hall 4 to allow access to the stages on the first floor. Please notify our staff at the information stand (in Hall 3) and we’ll accompany you to the freight elevator. Our helpers are always approachable and are there to support participants on every day of the conference.

Inclusion as our program

We’re also looking for supporters of inclusion in our program and will be discussing how digital technologies can make the web more inclusive. The first day of the #rp15 features a track on the topic:

Finding inclusion in digital Europe
Tuesday, May 5, 1:30 - 2:30 p.m., Stage 3
Mareice Kaiser and Raúl Aguayo-Krauthausen present campaigns and activists who create digital public spaces for the topics of inclusion and accessibility.

Inclusion/Exclusion: A question of technology?
Tuesday, May 5, 2:45 - 3:45 p.m., Stage 3
Tom Bieling, Katja Fischer and Klaus Miesenberger discuss technology and its relationship to inclusion and exclusion. In the future, will disabilities only be considered a technical problem?

On the way to an inclusive society
Tuesday, May 5, 4 - 5 p.m., Stage 3
Stefan Selke, Jeannette Gusko and Christiane Link will be discussing and analysing the idea of an inclusive society in a technological world and how inclusion can be achieved.