Accessibility to the media by hearing impaired audiences in Poland: problems, paradoxes, perspectives
Title of edited book
New Insights into Audiovisual Translation and Media Accessibility: Media for All 2
Year of publication
The present article examines the accessibility to audiovisual translation (AVT) of hearing impaired viewers in Poland. After offering an overview of AVT modes in Poland -- including subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing (SDH) and sign language interpreting (SLI) -- and of the Polish target group, the article explores the availability of SDH and SLI on television, DVDs and in cinemas. Although SDH has been available on Polish public TV since 1994, its provision is still inadequate. Similarly to other countries, it is also subject to stormy debate on edited vs. verbatim subtitles, as demonstrated by preliminary results of an SDH reception study discussed in the article. Unlike other countries, SLI available on public TV does not use Polish Sign Language, a natural means of communication among Deaf Poles, but Signed Polish, a system of signing based on the Polish oral language. This has also fuelled controversy within the Deaf community since not only is Signed Polish incomprehensible to many viewers, but it is also ideologically unacceptable. The article ends with a discussion of legal regulations on media accessibility and some suggestions for improving accessibility to AVT products for hearing impaired viewers.