Translation and Accessibility for All in the Creative Industries.

Digital Spaces and Cultural Contexts

Edited by Alessandra Rizzo (University of Palermo)

TRANSLATOLOGIA is seeking original, previously unpublished papers to be included in the second issue of 2020. Contributors may want to focus on any creative industry in their discussion of the concepts of universal accessibility and translation issues.

UNESCO has defined the sector of the cultural and creative industries (CCI) as the field whose principal purpose is the production or reproduction, promotion and dissemination of goods, services and activities of “a cultural, artistic or heritage-related nature” (DCMS 2002; UNESCO 2017). Born in the UK, these industries rely on creativity, intellectual property and human skills and talent and span a variety of activities in at least 11 sectors: “advertising, books, gaming, architecture, music, movies, newspapers and magazines, performing arts, visual arts, radio, TV and design” (Interreg Europe 2017). Their vibrancy reflects in the growth of cities’ cultural activities, creative economy and acting environments, while, at the same time, being the engine of digital economies. CCI tend to encourage citizens’ participation and to boost cities’ attractiveness and urban development.

Drawing on theoretical frameworks from a range of academic fields (e.g. translation studies, museum studies, tourism studies, media studies), and on methodological models based on multimodality, systemic functional linguistics, and audiovisual translation, this special issue seeks to open up a collaborative and supportive space for the understanding of how and to what extent translation as an instrument of accessibility for all can mobilise and control cultural, cognitive, linguistic and political experiences. Studies on universal accessibility as an essential tool for facilitating access to knowledge have shed light on different strategies for the promotion of inclusion through translation within the CCI context (Jiménez Hurtado et al. 2012; Jiménez Hurtado & Soler Gallego 2015). Research on the quality of accessible products as well as on the classification of access services addressed to persons with sensory impairments has been conducted over the years (Díaz Cintas et al. 2007; Díaz Cintas et al. 2010; Di Giovanni & Gambier 2018; Romero Fresco 2019). Yet, there is still a need to explore the role of translation as a device which breaks social, ethnic and linguistic barriers, and to debate the concept of accessibility as a human right for all users (Greco 2016). From these perspectives, accessibility rests on the principle of universality and is based on the removal of cultural and social differences.

Against this backdrop, translation and accessibility, in tandem with new technological solutions, have rapidly gained ground in the creative industries as fundamental conduits for the transmission of information and knowledge for all. The symbiosis between the cultural creative industries and access services has been made possible thanks to audiovisual translation, which happens to be one of the fastest growing areas contributing to the dissemination of “acceptable”, “adaptable” and “available” cultural and artistic contents, both via mass media communication (i.e. broadcasting, cinema, publishing, streaming, etc.) and within public cultural contexts (i.e. museums, theatres, festivals, street art, etc.).

While proposing reflections on wider theoretical and methodological perspectives, this special issue fosters a discourse which not only advances new models of experimentation, analysis and application within the CCI sector, but which also touches on the seductiveness of multimodal productions. The ultimate aim is to evaluate the extent to which translation, as a form of accessibility that deals with phenomena of an intralingual, interlingual and intersemiotic nature, interrelates with CCI.

How can translation, as an instrument of accessibility for all, contribute to the spread of knowledge addressed to audiences with sensory impairments (i.e. the blind and partially sighted people, and the deaf and hard of hearing people), but also to a wider public made of adults, children, men and women, who may be interested in the transmission of cultural contents through the support of specific technological triggers?


The following topics are particularly welcomed, though the list is not exhaustive:

  • Theoretical issues related to accessibility in the cultural and creative industries
  • Translation as accessibility/Translation and accessibility as forms of mediation and interpreting/Translation in accessibility
  • Functions and methods of different types of translation in CCI
  • Translation and accessibility policies in CCI
  • Accessibility and advanced technologies to promote CCI
  • Standards, guidelines and accessibility issues in CCI
  • Translation and accessibility as counter narrative devices for the diffusion of marginalised topics/peoples/narratives
  • Methodological approaches for the evaluation of accessible products in CCI (i.e. Discourse Analysis, Multimodality, Narratology, Systemic Functional Grammar)
  • Translation and accessibility for all in educational and didactic fields
  • Verbal and non-verbal meaning-making processes in CCI
  • Social inclusion and the democratisation of knowledge through universal accessibility (e.g. translation, re-translation)
  • Heterogeneous visitors/viewers, listeners (children, teenagers, adults, teachers and students, foreigners or speakers of other languages, families, the blind and visually impaired people, the deaf and hard of hearing people, mentally or intellectually disabled people, physically disabled people)
  • Different modes and modalities (e.g. multimedia guides, audio guides, self-guided tours, online collection and multimedia resources, online virtual tours, maps, adapted workshops, adapted guided tours, learning materials, multilingual multimedia guides, multilingual audio guides, multilingual websites, information leaflets, catalogues, audio descriptions, voice narrations, tactile guided tours with oral descriptions, sign language guides, (live) subtitling, assistive listening systems, video transcriptions, automatic speech recognition).



DCMS (2002). Regional Cultural Data Framework, a report by Positive Solutions, Business Strategies (Burns Owens Partnership and Pratt A.)DCM: London.

Díaz Cintas, J., Orero, P., and Remael, A. (2007). Media for all: subtitling for the deaf, AD, and sign language. Amsterdam: Rodopi.

Díaz Cintas, J., Matamala, A., and Neves, J. (2010). New Insights in Audiovisual Translation and media Accessibility: Media for All 2. Amsterdam: Rodopi.

Di Giovanni, E., and Gambier, Y. (2018). “Introduction”. In E. Di Giovanni and Y. Gambier (eds) Reception Studies and Audiovisual Translation. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, VII-XII.

Greco, G. M. (2016). “On Accessibility as a Human Right, with an Application to Media Accessibility”. In A. Matamala and P. Orero (eds) Researching Audio Description. New Approaches. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 11-33.

Greco, G. M. (2018). “The nature of accessibility studies”. Journal of Audiovisual Translation, 1(1), 205-232.

UNESCO (2017).


Interregeurope (2017).


Jiménez Hurtado, C., Seibel C., and Soler Gallego S. (2012). “Museum for all. Translation and

Interpreting for Multimodal Spaces as a Tool for Universal Accessibility”.  MonTI. Monografías de Traducción e Interpretación, 4, 1-24.

Jiménez Hurtado, C. and Soler Gallego, S. (2015). “Museum Accessibility through Translation: A Corpus Study of Pictorial Audio Description”. In J. Díaz Cintas and J. Neves (eds) Audiovisual Translation Taking Stock. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 277-298.

Romero-Fresco, P. (2019). Accessible Filmmaking. Integrating Translation and Accessibility into the Filmmaking Process. London: Routledge.


We welcome full paper submissions reflecting the abovementioned issues. All articles must be written in English or German and should not exceed 7,000 words.

We also welcome reviews of publications related to the main topic of this issue.

Deadline for submission: 25 April 2020
Notification of acceptance to authors: 10 July 2020
Final publication: November 2020

Your submission should be sent to: alessandra.rizzo@unipa.it, cc to: shodakova@ukf.sk

 Submissions should be strictly prepared according to the Author Guidelines available at: http://www.translatologia.ukf.sk/submission-guidelines/