Accessibility Works

The goal of “accessibility” technics is to improve access to content for people with a different mother language or people with disabilities. This is pushed by various trends.

  • Depending countries, there are more or less obligations. But more and more over the world, there laws obliging broadcasters to include subtitling and audio descriptions to their programmes.
  • When they broadcast NEWS and any kind of information, broadcasters need the information to be well understood by the audience even in case of people with disabilities.
  • Producers expect their new content to be marketed in foreign countries.
  • Addition of Voice-over or subtitles allow old content to be refreshed and marketed in new areas.


Subtitling (closed captioning) allows the deaf and hard of hearing to follow and understand audiovisual broadcasts, notably films. Originally used in the cinema, the technology was then adopted by television and is now used for all types of programming, such as series, documentaries, and news. It now applies to all broadcast media, such as the internet and DVD.
It can be a simple transcription of dialogue, with some adaptation to make it more legible, or a translation. Subtitles are often produced from recorded programs but live subtitling is becoming more and more prevalent, forced along by the need for information to be transmitted correctly.
Subtitles are perfect for better indexing.
They are used advantageously by the web 3.0 search engines.

Voice Over

This is used to regionalise audiovisual content and use it in countries where the main language is different from the original one. In practice, it is for documentaries all over the world. The original sound is mixed down and one or several voices are added to describe the scenes or to translate text actors. It comes in place the lip synchronisation that’s a more complex and expensive technique. VoixOff-logo

Audio description

This is a technology that makes video content available to the blind and visually impaired thanks to a voice-over describing the visual elements of content. The descriptive voice, placed between dialogue or sound elements, does not harm the original work. It is usually broadcast on specific audio channels and used on headphones so as not to bother other viewers. Audio-desc_Vectra-400x380

Sign Language

A sign language is a language using hand shapes as well as movements of hands, arms and body together with facial expressions to communicate. This is used most of time to translate what speakers say. Sign languages are local languages. Hundreds of sign languages are in use around the world and are at the cores of local deaf cultures. The sign specialist appears on a small part of the screen. This is used for some documentaries but also in live situations. logo-LSF