Let's put standardisation in practice: Accessibility services and interaction

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2 Citations (Scopus)


Quality is a subjective attribute. For media accessibility, quality is an agreed benchmark issued by a standardisation agency. The context of work on media accessibility in standardisation agencies is the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), wherein article 9.2 requests States Parties to take appropriate measures, among others “To develop, promulgate and monitor the implementation of minimum standards and guidelines for the accessibility of facilities and services open or provided to the public”. Meeting CRPD requirements has led to many international standardisation agencies to actively produce technical requirements towards accessibility, both for physical and digital/online environments. Technology is developing at a fast pace to produce new interactions, which turn into new communication barriers, some of which might be avoidable. Looking at recommendations from some accessibility standards at the design stage could solve many issues and help towards native accessible technology. This article looks at existing standards related to accessibility and media communication. The first part of the article looks at different standardisation agencies and the need to produce harmonised standards for accessibility at IEC, ITU, ISO and W3C. The second part of the article outlines how standards are produced and implemented at a European level by the European Standardisation Organisations (CEN, CENELEC and ETSI). It then lists existing standards for each media accessibility service: subtitling, audio description, audio subtitling and sign language. Mention is made of Easy to Read as a new emerging accessibility modality. The final part of the article will provide conclusions and directions for further research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-90
Number of pages20
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 22 Apr 2021


  • Accessibility services
  • Audio description
  • Audio subtitling
  • Easy to Read
  • Media Accessibility
  • Standards
  • Subtitling


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