Sony Pixel Power calrec Sony

How media tech can be a path to greater participation and inclusion

19/05/2022

Frank Kunkle, SMPTEs director of marketing, explains how modern media technologies offer capabilities most people consider conveniences, but can be life-changing for others

By Contributor

Published: May 19, 2022

Frank Kunkle, SMPTE's director of marketing, explains how modern media technologies offer capabilities most people consider conveniences, but can be life-changing for others

target=_blank title=Share on LinkedIn class=share-linkedin>

If you were to meet Frank Kunkle, SMPTE director of marketing, for breakfast to talk about the Society's latest initiatives and standards work, it's unlikely you'd realise he is legally blind.

But if Kunkle found the route to the restaurant unfamiliar, he would have used the camera on his smartphone to identify street signs along the way. Earlier in the day, he would have relied on the amazing resolution on that same phone to take the correct prescription and trim his toenails. The night before, while streaming a show on TV, he might have attached something like a telescope to his eyeglasses to give his partner a break from reading the subtitles aloud.

An apology from Kunkle, who is arriving just a moment late due to misplaced eyeglasses, may seem natural so you're a bit confused when he instead asks to switch seats with you. But he's warm and charismatic, so you gladly listen as he explains that if you had stayed in the seat with the sunlight streaming into the caf from behind you, he'd be unable to see your facial features and expressions throughout your conversation.

Even when Kunkle wears glasses, his visual acuity falls into the legal blindness range; on his best days, an object that is 20 feet away would appear to be 100 feet away. But having been born with bilateral coloboma, Kunkle also experiences a restricted visual field and sensitivity to light. Like any person with a disability, he is familiar with manipulating his environment - often and quickly - sometimes using tools in ways that their inventors hadn't planned for in order to perform mundane yet essential tasks.

Thanks in large part to screens and moving images, Kunkle is able to live as close to a normal life as possible. This attracted him to the role at SMPTE several years ago. The opportunity to collaborate closely with SMPTE's members, who are the engineers and technologists working on advances in media, felt perfect to Kunkle. Even at the level of engineering requirements and standards, Kunkle has benefited greatly from the work of SMPTE's members throughout his life.

I am drawn to working in STEM fields, and media especially, because innovation in these areas can make life so much better for visually impaired people, says Kunkle. Modern media technology offers capabilities most people consider conveniences, but for someone like me, those conveniences can be life-changing.

Huge screens with powerful resolution and detail allow many people with low vision to see the world more clearly than they ever could with their own eyes. And Kunkle points to innovations such as an intelligent camera app that narrates the world around the user, and SMPTE's media-over-IP standards and requirements, which offer many options for delivering media to consumers in a way that works for them. Another bucket of tools, such as the browser extension Teleparty (formally called Netflix Party), created for general use is also proving immensely valuable to visually impaired users.

Kunkle explains that, being legally blind as a child, he experienced an extreme awareness of self. He recalls being just three years old and wanting to hide his impairment. For Kunkle and many others, that introspection came with having what the U.S. calls an Individualised Education Plan (IEP). While effective, the supports a young person would experience through their IEP invite that person from a very young age to compare their abilities to their peers.

It becomes overwhelming as the supports lead the person to articulate limitations their impairment creates and finally the simple task of verbalising (self-advocacy) the solutions that they will need to participate in society. Here's the challenge: the young, disabled person may have to imagine solutions that have never been seen before or they may lack the life experience to really understand their needs.

Over the years, Kunkle went to great lengths to seem like he was running with the pack. While he worked hard to make it look as though there was nothing going on for him, his life was in fact very different from that of most people around him.

I'd go to watch a movie with friends, but I couldn't see a damn thing on the screen. I'd awkwardly pretend I was following the plotline. Screens were so small even a few decades ago! says Kunkle. But these days I could use Teleparty to watch the same film with the time code synchronised - thank you, SMPTE! - on my own screen. I get to be exactly in the moment. What a different experience that is. And the same goes for playing collaborative, phone-based video games with friends. For so many visually impaired people, it's like, Finally, I can really do this.'

This value of participation - and, more recently, inclusion - has long been clear to Kunkle. So he is driven by a shocking reality that only 31.4 per cent of persons with disabilities in the U.S. ages 16-64 are employed, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, while 72.5 per cent without disabilities that age range are employed.

Kunkle suggests that, at a minimum, most any person wants to participate in a society. So it is only natural that many conversations around inclusion of persons with disabilities deal with participation. What he feels may be missing in some of these conversations is the idea that visually impaired and other disabled people can and do give bac
LINK: https://www.tvbeurope.com/features/how-media-tech-can-be-a-path-to-gre...
See more stories from tvb

Europe Stories

04/11/2022

Game better with DTS Headphone:X

The best gamers know DTS Headphone:X technology ups their play. Now major magazines have caught on, too. DTS Headphone:X technology creates immersive soundsc...

05/07/2022

Producing more with less with IP it's really possible

Imagine Communications Cassidy Phillips argues that IP systems built on COTS hardware and SMPTE ST 2110 standard are not a science project By Contributor Publ...

05/07/2022

French virtual production studio upgrades to extended reality

The combined FLEX/SMODE xR solution works as an additional server on top of the existing Unreal/nDisplay set-up By Jenny Priestley Published: July 5, 2022 ...

05/07/2022

Meet the sports broadcast graphics operator

AE Lives Jodie Butcher reveals how she went from PE teacher to working on some of the biggest sporting events in the world, and why she would advise anyone look...

05/07/2022

MEDIAGENIX acquires video distribution services company BeBanjo

The acquisition generates a broad solution portfolio combining MEDIAGENIXs WHATS'ON Media Business Management Platform with BeBanjo's Movida VoD-first s...

05/07/2022

ALPAC Capital takes majority share in Euronews

Company has acquired 88 per cent of the Euronews shares after reaching an agreement with previous holder, MGN By Jenny Priestley Published: July 5, 2022 Co...

05/07/2022

Banijay Rights Sends Marie Antoinette Down Under

Banijay Rights, the global distribution arm of Banijay, today announces the sale of new eight-part historical drama Marie Antoinette to BBC First in Australia. ...

05/07/2022

Thales acclre sa stratgie d'investissement dans l'open source hardware

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn En tant qu'initiateur du Deuxi me concours national tudiant RISC-V co-organis avec le GDR SOC2 et le CNFM1, Thales a r com...

05/07/2022

European Parliament adopts the Digital Services Package, setting the bar high for online platforms

European Parliament adopts the Digital Services Package, setting the bar high fo...

05/07/2022

Rohde & Schwarz supplies technology for network of compact remotely controlled measuring stations in Serbia

Rohde & Schwarz supplies technology for network of compact remotely controlled m...

05/07/2022

Movicom delivers Robycam, Frecciarossa cam and other specialty cameras to Italian Cup Final

Movicom delivers Robycam, Frecciarossa cam and other specialty cameras to Italia...

04/07/2022

The metaverse and the forgotten value of video

Guy Parry-Williams, founder of Imedia8, takes a look at the value of video and immersive technology in helping companies reach a bigger audience By Contributor...

04/07/2022

Anton/Bauer expands battery series with B-Mount solution for ARRI Cine cameras

The series has been designed to drive high-power cine cameras such as the ARRI Alexa 35 By Jenny Priestley Published: July 4, 2022 Updated: July 5, 2022 ...

04/07/2022

Andy Kaplan to head up operations at Light Iron

Kaplan has previously worked at Technicolor and Company 3 By Jenny Priestley Published: July 4, 2022 Kaplan has previously worked at Technicolor and Compan...

04/07/2022

Vincent Grivet re-elected chair of HbbTV Association

The Assoication has also elected a new Steering Group, containing representatives from broadcasters and technology vendors By Jenny Priestley Published: July ...

04/07/2022

Cloud will transform live sports distribution, but making it simple, accessible and cost effective is crucial

With public cloud ready to transform live sports distribution models right now, ...

04/07/2022

Thales to recruit 11,000 people worldwide, including 4,000 in France, to drive the next disruptive innovations

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn After hiring 9,000 people worldwide in 2021, Tha...

04/07/2022

3 questions to Bernhard Hanneken, Programmer of the Rudolstadt Festival

3 questions to Bernhard Hanneken, Programmer of the Rudolstadt Festival...

01/07/2022

Fresh perspectives: Young Journalist Award 2022

Thomson Foundation is celebrating 60 years of promoting excellence in journalism and to mark the occasion, we're offering six rising stars the chance to con...

01/07/2022

The new challenges in OTT

iWedias J r me Vial takes a look at the OTT landscape By Contributor Published: July 1, 2022 iWedia's J r me Vial takes a look at the OTT landscape t...

01/07/2022

Amazon to share Champions League rights with BT Sport

Amazon has won the rights to Tuesday night games, with BT Sport airing Champions League matches on Wednesday By Jenny Priestley Published: June 30, 2022 Upd...

01/07/2022

EBU's DG Noel Curran to serve further six years in office

Organisation also appoints two new members to its executive board By Jenny Priestley Published: July 1, 2022 Updated: July 4, 2022 Organisation also appo...

01/07/2022

Thum + Mahr acquired by Broadcast Solutions

Co-founders Peter Thum and Hanno Mahr will become advisors to the company, which will remain in Monheim an Rhein By Jenny Priestley Published: July 1, 2022 ...

01/07/2022

Best of Show at IBC 2022 nominations open

Awards celebrate the innovation and craft of the industry's R&D teams by recognising some of the standout products and solutions on display in Amsterdam By...

01/07/2022

Strong support from the broadcasting sector for the Revised Draft Text for the WIPO Broadcasting Organizations Treaty

Strong support from the broadcasting sector for the Revised Draft Text for the W...

01/07/2022

EBU Members primed for summer of top women's sport

EBU Members primed for summer of top women's sport...

01/07/2022

HMS Networks AB acquires Global M2M Pty Ltd

HMS Industrial Networks AB, a wholly owned subsidiary of HMS Networks AB (publ), has today acquired all shares in Global M2M Pty Ltd, located in Melbourne, Aust...

01/07/2022

Fujifilm announces price increase for select Fujifilm-manufactured LTO Ultrium data tape products

Fujifilm announces price increase for select Fujifilm-manufactured LTO Ultrium d...

01/07/2022

How EBU Members rallied to help keep Ukrainian broadcaster UA:PBC on air

How EBU Members rallied to help keep Ukrainian broadcaster UA:PBC on air...

01/07/2022

The future is bright for the Revised Draft Text for the WIPO Broadcasting Organizations Treaty

The future is bright for the Revised Draft Text for the WIPO Broadcasting Organi...

01/07/2022

EBU President and Vice-President re-elected with two new members joining the Executive Board

EBU President and Vice-President re-elected with two new members joining the Exe...

30/06/2022

A star-studded cast of comedy legends join Johnny Vegas and Sian Gibson in Murder, They Hope series 2 on Gold

30th June 2022 Golds comedy murder mystery Murder, They Hope led by Johnny Vegas...

30/06/2022

THE PRESTIGIOUS DAVE'S EDINBURGH COMEDY AWARDS ARE BACK AND CELEBRATING 40 YEARS OF COMEDY GENIUS

30th June 2022 DAVES EDINBURGH COMEDY AWARDS will return at the Edinburgh Festiv...

30/06/2022

GSMA Reveals 5G Spectrum Needs for 2030 Across Low, Mid, and High Bands

New reports on Low- and High-band Spectrum Needs Deliver Complete 2030 5G Spectrum Vision for Governments and Regulators 30 June, London: The GSMA today releas...

30/06/2022

GSMA Launches the Inaugural MWC Las Vegas 2022 in Partnership with CTIA

Verizon Consumer Group CEO Will Make Her Debut Keynote at the First MWC Las Vegas; Register Now For Early Bird Ticket Offer 30 June 2022, London: Get ready for...

30/06/2022

Could artificial intelligence replace the need for camera people in live sport?

TVBEurope meets Gal Oz, co-founder and CTO of AI video technology company Pixellot, to learn how theyre transforming the way sport is produced By Jenny Priestl...

30/06/2022

Amazon set to share Champions League rights with BT Sport'

The two companies are reportedly planning to split the UK broadcast rights as part of a new deal with UEFA By Jenny Priestley Published: June 30, 2022 The ...

30/06/2022

MediaForEurope will look at' Channel 4 when it goes up for sale

Numerous companies are circling the broadcaster ahead of privatisation By Jenny Priestley Published: June 30, 2022 Updated: July 1, 2022 Numerous compani...

30/06/2022

Nominees Are Announced For This Summer's South Bank Sky Arts Awards

Including Little Simz, It's A Sin, We Are Lady Parts, Cabaret, Boiling Point, Opera North's Rigoletto & Many More 30 June, London, UK. The South Bank ...

30/06/2022

A new generation of TAI University School of Arts students certified as Mistika Color Artist and Mistika VFX Artist

Published On: June 23rd, 2022 -- -- -- -- data-orig-src=https://www.sg...

30/06/2022

Three Sweden selects Net Insight's time synchronization for 5G rollout

Stockholm, Sweden - Mobile operator Three Sweden ( Three') has selected Net Insight for synchronizing its 5G network. The companies have worked in close coo...

30/06/2022

Channel 4 names two new foreign correspondents

Channel 4 News is boosting its award-winning foreign coverage with the appointment of two new correspondents. Secunder Kermani, the BBC's Pakistan and Afgh...

30/06/2022

RT CONTINUES TO CHAMPION WOMEN'S SPORT WITH HISTORIC BROADCAST OF UEFA WOMEN'S EUROS

RT continues to champion Women's Sport with historic first ever broadcast o...

30/06/2022

The Main Stage announces stellar line up for episode one

The Main Stage is set for Friday nights in the summer on RT One. The first programme features Lyra, Rejjie Snow, Villagers, Cormac Begley,Mark Feehily and DJ...

30/06/2022

Ikegami Europe Announces Unicam UHK-X750 4K-UHD HDR Studio Camera

Ikegami Europe Announces Unicam UHK-X750 4K-UHD HDR Studio Camera posted: 30/06/2022 Accompanying image shows a perspective view of the new Ikegami UHK-X7...

30/06/2022

European broadcasting and cultural industry call to Europe: Save our Spectrum

European broadcasting and cultural industry call to Europe: Save our Spectrum...