European erasmus program “VIWAS” (Visual Impairment and Water Polo Assisted System 2021-2022) for people with blindness or visual impairments

The Laboratory of Adapted Physical Activity/ Developmental and Physical Disabilities of the School of Physical Education and Sport Science (SPESS), the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, will be implementing the Project 622203-EPP-1-2020-1-EL-SPO-SSCP "Visually Impaired Water polo Spectators - Broadcasting of water polo for people with visual impairment" (VIWAS)within the framework of the European ProgramErasmus+ SPORT.

Project: “Broadcasting and commentating of water polo for people with visual impairments”. Beginning and ending: 01/01/2021- 31/12/2022.

Greece, Italy, Croatia and Slovenia, countries with high performances in water polo globally, are participating in this project. VIWAS is coordinated by the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens/ SPESS/ Laboratory of Adapted Physical Activity/ Developmental and Physical Disabilities with Scientific Responsible Professor Dimitra Koutsouki (Leader) and Laboratory (Coordinator) of this partnership which involves  5 other organizations operating in different areas. Specifically:

  • “Associazione Euphoria” (Italy).
  • “Swimming Association Asterias” (Greece), Thomas Nikodelis PhD. Laboratory and Teaching Staff, SPESS, AUTH.
  • “Noriaki Kano Laboratories” (Greece), Michalis Lolidis, Dipl. Mechanical Engineer Msc, MA,
  • Rijeka sports association for people with disabilities” (Croatia).
  • Športno društvo Invalid Ljubljana” (Slovenia).

The project “VIWAS” (Visual Impairment and Water Polo Assisted System 2021-2022) is focused on individuals with visual disabilities or blindness who are often excluded from participation due to ergonomic and attitudinal barriers. People with such disabilities are limited in opportunities to enjoy sports events like water polo and be active spectators as people without a disability. Therefore, the aim of this project is to create a well-structured comprehensive system for broadcasting and commentating of water polo for people with visual impairments and/or blindness. So, people with serious visual disabilities or blindness would have full accessibility to attend water polo events.


Water polo is a fun, competitive and popular sport that promotes socialization and provides improved behavioral outcomes for spectators. It helps to boost confidence, develop social skills and leads to a better mental-physical well-being and quality of life for people with disabilities.

The broadcasting system for the visually impaired and the blind people will be offered as an “Open Educational Resource” to other professionals of the sport, water polo instructors and trainers and it is expected to have a cross sectional as well as longitudinal positive effect to the adapted sports in the water. The results at the program will benefit athletic commentators, teachers, trainers, coaches, managers and staffs of non-profit sport organizations, federations, clubs, schools, and educational authorities who wish to implement it.

This project relies on:

1. A framing (standard-protocol) on the broadcasting and commentating (AudioDescriptionCommentaryADC) of water sports events (universal organizational innovation according toOslo Manual).

2. The creation of an accessibility chain «step by step», commentator specifications, relatively technology, and jobcertification for the sport’s acoustic description.

With small adjustments could be effective in any country/ city worldwide. So, water sports, could embrace more social groups.

This project is implemented with the co-financing of the Erasmus project+ of the European Union. For more information, please contact the project coordinator , Professor Dimitra Koutsouki. Tel.: +210-7276023/6021 /Email: dkoutsou@phed

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