11th European e-Accessibility Forum
e-Accessible Culture

19/06/2017, 9am-6pm
Cité des sciences et de l'industrie, Paris

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The French Ministry of Culture and Communication's efforts to increase access to culture through digital technologies

Sandrine SOPHYS-VERET (Paris)
French Ministry for Culture and Communication

Speaker's information

Sandrine Sophys Veret

Sandrine Sophys-Véret is in charge of the Culture and Handicap programme within the Department of Education and Artistic and Cultural Development and the Department for the Coordination of Cultural Policies and Innovation of the French Ministry of Culture and Communication (MCC). She coordinates French policy and inter-ministerial relations on access to culture and artistic practices for people with disabilities. In this capacity, she is responsible for the work undertaken by the National Culture-Handicap Commission. She is editor and co-author of the Ministry's collection of practical guides on accessibility in the cultural sector, including the latest book in the series, Expositions et parcours de visites accessibles (Exhibitions and Accessible Visits, 2017). She initiated the Ministry of Culture and Communication's study into the accessibility of public sector websites.



Each individual should be able to access all aspects of culture: art and heritage (museums, architecture, monuments, archives, etc.), artistic pursuits (fine art, dance, theatre, etc.) and cultural products and services (film, public radio and reading). Each individual should also be given the opportunity to work and train in the cultural sector if they should so desire.

To help ensure that this is the case, the French Ministry of Culture relies on two instruments:


Increasing access to books and reading is one of the Ministry's priorities. This is primarily managed through copyright exemption for organisations producing accessible versions of published books.

The 2016 law will bring a number of improvements to current legislation, with a broader definition of "print-disabled" users, a more prominent role for France's national library who will be responsible for pooling accessible versions, and a clearer role for public libraries who will be the main access point for users.

The Ministry is also supporting efforts to increase the number of "born-accessible" publications and is working to develop a certification process for accessible books.

Museum and heritage sector

A number of fixed and mobile digital solutions have been developed in cultural venues across France to meet specific access requirements while benefiting all users. These are gaining ground in large museums such as the Louvre, the musée Picasso and the Paris Philharmonia.

Performing Arts

A study revealed the need to increase efforts in France to provide audio description, subtitling and captioning for live performances. The approach must be adapted according to the performance, the venue, the audience and the financial arrangements.


France's National Centre for Cinema is very active both in improving access to cinemas and to film. The digitisation of films increases opportunities to add subtitles and audio description to the files natively and to provide these at film projections.


The Media4DPlayer has been developed by France Televisions to increase access to its programmes.

The ministry supports culture professionals, particularly with the publication of a collection of guidebooks on disability. The fourth guide on building accessible exhibitions, which has a chapter on accessible digital technologies, helps publicise and celebrate best practice in the field.

The ministry provides financial support through two funds. It is currently conducting a study into the accessibility of cultural venue websites and another, in partnership with the RECA, into visitor applications.

Watch Sandrine Sophys-Véret's presentation on YouTube (in French). For subtitles, please use the CC button, and if you require a transcript do not hesitate to contact us at contact[at]


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