Participatory accessibility: Creating audio description with blind and non-blind children




media accessibility, audio description (AD), participation, children, inclusion


This article focuses on participatory accessibility by providing a definition, several theoretical insights and practical examples. By reporting on an inclusive and participatory experience carried out with blind, partially sighted and non-blind children in the drafting, recording and using audio description (AD) for a live opera performance, the aim is to bring into the spotlight the potential benefits of making accessibility a collective, open enterprise where end-users and creators are one. The article also advocates for the participatory turn in media accessibility research and practice.


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Author Biography

Elena Di Giovanni, University of Macerata

Associate Professor of English Translation at the University of Macerata, Italy. She has taught audiovisual translation and media accessibility for 20 years, her research interests ranging from dubbing and subtitling from a reception studies perspective to media accessibility, especially audio description. From 2008 to 2016, she was Visiting Lecturer at Roehampton University, London, MA in audiovisual translation. Since 2013, she lectures on film translation and accessibility at the Venice International Film Festival, within the European Parliament-funded LUX Prize for cinema. Since November, 2016, she is President of ESIST, European association for the study of screen translation ( She is coordinator of accessibility services at Macerata Opera Festival ( and Teatro Grande in Brescia ( She has published extensively on translation from a literary and audiovisual perspective. Her publications are here: - content=publications.




How to Cite

Di Giovanni, E. (2018). Participatory accessibility: Creating audio description with blind and non-blind children. Journal of Audiovisual Translation, 1(1), 155–169.