Standardising accessibility: Transferring knowledge to society




audiovisual translation, knowledge transfer, media accessibility, standardisation


This article describes standardisation work in the field of media accessibility with a focus on the international standardisation bodies ISO (International Organization for Standardization) and ITU (International Telecommunication Union). It provides an overview of what standards are and how standardisation agencies work, with a focus on the technical procedures, types of documents and Code of Conduct to be followed. The specific tasks of working groups dealing with access services is presented and their main outputs in the form of standards are summarised. The article also discusses the main challenges researchers face when getting involved in standardisation work and the benefits of transferring into society and the industry through standardisation.


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Author Biographies

Anna Matamala, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

Associate Professor at UAB (Barcelona). Currently leading TransMedia Catalonia, she has participated in and led projects on audiovisual translation and media accessibility. She has taken an active role in the organisation of scientific events (M4ALL, ARSAD), and has published in journals such as Meta, Translator, Perspectives, Babel, Translation Studies. She is involved in standardisation work at ISO and UNE. Co-founder of MAP (Media Accessibility Platform). Website:

Pilar Orero, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

Teaches at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (Spain). Member of the TransMedia Catalonia research group. Recent publications include two co-edited books on audio description (with Maszerowska and Matamala, 2014, Benjamins; with Matamala, 2016, Palgrave Macmillan). Pilar Orero participates in ITU IRG-AVA and is a member of ISO/IEC JTC1/SC35 and Spanish UNE working group on accessibility. Leader of EU projects HBB4ALL, ACT, UMAQ, and partner in EasyTV and ImAC (2017-2021). She is an active external evaluator for many worldwide national agencies (South Africa, Australia, Lithuania, Belgium, US, UK, etc.). Co-founder of MAP (Media Accessibility Platform).




How to Cite

Matamala, A., & Orero, P. (2018). Standardising accessibility: Transferring knowledge to society. Journal of Audiovisual Translation, 1(1), 139–154.