BFC Conference 2020

Second Call for Papers



5-6 June 2020
Winterthur, Switzerland

New! Extended deadline: 31 January 2020

[The submission period is now closed]

1. About the conference

The 3rd Swiss Conference on Barrier-free Communication will be held on 5-6 June 2020 at the School of Applied Linguistics of the Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW) in Winterthur, Switzerland.

This is the third and final conference being held as part of the project entitled “Proposal and implementation of a Swiss research centre for barrier-free communication” (2017-2020), the main goal of which is to ensure access to higher education for people with visual, hearing or temporary cognitive impairments. The project, which is a cooperation between the Institute of Translation and Interpreting of the ZHAW and the Faculty of Translation and Interpreting of the University of Geneva, is funded by the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) and is supported by the Swiss University Conference.

The 1st Swiss Conference on Barrier-free Communication was held on 15-16 September 2017 in Winterthur, Switzerland. It aimed to offer both a theoretical and an empirical perspective on the state of the art in the field (cf. BfC 2017 Proceedings). One year later, the second edition of the conference, which took place in Geneva, Switzerland, on 9-10 November 2018, further explored accessibility in educational settings (cf. BfC 2018 Proceedings).

Building on the 2017 and 2018 events, the 2020 conference sets out to provide a wider international forum to discuss most recent progress and future challenges in barrier-free communication. The conference will be centred on all aspects of the field, focusing in particular on novel research findings and emerging disciplines, such as interlingual live-subtitling, live-subtitling into easy-to-read language and text-to-sign interpreting by deaf interpreters.

We invite researchers, academics, practitioners and members of the target groups to submit proposals related (but not limited) to the following topics:

•    Audio Description and Audio Introduction
•    Easy-to-read and Plain Language
•    Live-subtitling via keyboard and Respeaking
•    Web Accessibility
•    Sign Language
•    Community Interpreting

2. Submission guidelines

We encourage submissions to the following tracks:

  • Research track: Faculty members are invited to submit unpublished cutting-edge theoretical and empirical research work related to any of the areas listed in the call.
  • Student track: Graduate students are invited to submit an extended abstract of their ongoing research in any aspect of the areas listed in the call. Experience reports of students with disabilities who are or were enrolled in a Higher Education programme are also welcome. Reports may address any of the topics listed in the call and must be authored or co-authored by one or more students with disabilities.
  • Professional track: Service providers are invited to present state-of-the-art technology, innovative solutions and best practices in any of the areas listed in the call. Professionals offering support to students with special needs in Higher Education settings are also encouraged to share first-hand knowledge and direct experience in providing as much barrier-free or “low-barrier” access to education as possible.

Authors are encouraged to submit extended abstracts (1 to 3 pages, including references) of their proposed paper. Abstracts should be submitted in English. In addition, they should be formatted according to the BfC 2020 submission template (downloadable from both the Conference website and the EasyChair submission page) and submitted as PDF files via EasyChair. In order to be fully accessible, please note that abstracts should contain no footnotes.

Each submitted abstract will be reviewed by two experts in the field and will undergo a double-blind review process.

Submissions should be made via EasyChair by 31 January 2020, 11.59 pm, CET.

3. Presentations

Accepted papers can be presented either orally or as posters. The length of oral presentations can vary between 20 minutes (15 + 5 Q&A) and 30 minutes (20 + 10 Q&A). When submitting a proposal, authors will be asked to indicate their preferred presentation format, and whether they are willing to consider any of the alternative formats.

4. Accessibility

The conference will strive to be financially, physically and linguistically accessible, as well as mindful of environmental sustainability.

5. More information about the BFC Conference 2020

This conference is co-sponsored by the Swiss Association for Applied Linguistics (VALS-ASLA).

For more information, please visit the official Conference website.