Chapter 6 | Subtitling for Deaf and Hard-of-hearing Audiences: Moving Forward


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Publication date: 13 September 2018
Copyright date 2019
Hardback ISBN: 9781138859524
E-book ISBN 9781315717166
You can order this volume on the Routledge website





As a field of professional practice and scholarly enquiry, Subtitling for the deaf and hard of hearing (SDH) is currently traversed by multiple tensions and driven by attempts to enhance quantity, quality and diversity. Heightened general awareness, public demand and regulations will play a major role in increasing the provision of SDH, as shown by the experience of countries that have overcome the first stage in their implementation of accessibility services. Better quality requires a more refined understanding of the profile and needs of different audiences. Finally, quantity and quality will necessarily be driven by the ever growing affordances of technology, which is fragmenting audiences, allowing for individualized user experience, and calling both for normalization and creativity — thus allowing for a variety of solutions on a broad spectrum of devices and platforms.

As user-centred technological environments become ever more ubiquitous, viewers will be able to choose specific formats that suit their personal needs. The traditional disability-oriented ‘subtitling for the deaf and hard of hearing’ paradigm will thus shift towards a more encompassing framework characterized by the use of ‘enriched (responsive) subtitles’. This should not mark ‘the end’ of SDH, but rather the incorporation of SDH standards as a subtitling variety to be made available to every viewer on demand. Although this might take longer to achieve on traditional media (e.g. television or the cinema), it is certainly the way forward on versatile web-based platforms.



Josélia Neves is a Full Professor in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Hamad bin Khalifa University, Qatar, where she teaches in the MA in Audiovisual Translation. She is a member of the TransMedia Research Group and a board member of the European Association for Studies in Screen Translation. She collaborates with various European Universities both as a visiting professor and a researcher.



The Routledge Handbook of Audiovisual Translation Studies provides an authoritative and straightforward overview of the field through thirty-two specially commissioned chapters written by leading scholars in the field.

This state-of-the-art reference work is divided in four sections. The first part focuses on established and emerging audiovisual translation modalities, explores the changing contexts in which they have been and continue to be used, and examine how cultural and technological changes are directing their future trajectories. The second part explores the interface between audiovisual translation and a range of theoretical models that have proved particularly productive in steering research in audiovisual translation studies. Some of these models are associated with disciplines that have long intersected with audiovisual translation, while others are drawn from areas of knowledge that are only now beginning to make their presence felt in the audiovisual translation literature. The third part surveys a range of methodological approaches supporting traditional and innovative ways of interrogating audiovisual translation data. The final part addresses a range of themes pertaining to the place of audiovisual translation in society: these include the institutionalization, academization and technologization of audiovisual translation, as well as its role as a force for social change, both within and outside the industry. This Handbook gives audiovisual translation studies the voice it needs to make its presence felt within the Humanities research landscape.


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