Understanding the Urgent Need for Subtitling for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing in the Spanish-Speaking Greater Antilles





audiovisual translation, subtitling for the D/deaf, viewing habits, AVT laws and regulations, accessibility, Caribbean, Spanish-speaking Greater Antilles


Even though Audiovisual Translation (AVT) is growing and flourishing throughout the world, it is practically unheard-of in the Caribbean, where accessibility faces an even bleaker existence. The circumstances of the deaf and hard of hearing (also referred to as D/deaf) are no less alarming: social barriers and exclusion are widespread. This paper emphasizes the need to make subtitles accessible in the Spanish-speaking Caribbean, specifically on the islands of Puerto Rico, Cuba, and the Dominican Republic, and underscores the challenges faced by the D/deaf communities on each island. Our research focuses on issues like AVT laws and regulations, the habits of viewers of audiovisual (AV) products, and literacy and limitations on each island. This paper also examines the different types of D/deaf audiovisual consumers in the Spanish-speaking Caribbean and the difficulties each community faces when accessing media and entertainment. Our research reveals the current state of AVT accessibility in this region and provides a foundation for influencing legislators to begin enforcing AVT regulations and drafting SDH guidelines.


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Author Biographies

Adrián Fuentes-Luque, Universidad Pablo de Olavide

Associate professor in Translation at Universidad Pablo de Olavide (Seville, Spain). He has previously taught at the Universidad de Cádiz and the Universidad de Granada (Spain), the University of Portsmouth (UK) and the University of Puerto Rico, among others. His research interests include audiovisual translation, the history of translation, tourism translation, translation of humour, advertising translation and institutional translation. As a professional translator, he served as Senior Translator at the Australian Embassy in Spain and has worked for several institutions (SDI Media, International Maritime Organization, Cambridge University Press, Museo Nacional del Prado, British Council, etc.). He can be reached at afuentes@upo.es

Pabsi Livmar González-Irizarry, Universidad Pablo de Olavide

PhD candidate at Universidad Pablo de Olavide (Seville, Spain). She teaches at the University of Puerto Rico (UPR) and the Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico (PUCPR). She specializes on AVT and court translation. Her employment history as a translator includes Netflix, Santander Bank, and the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico. She holds a B.A. in Modern Languages and an M.A. in Translation, both from the University of Puerto Rico. She can be reached at pabsigonzalez@gmail.com




How to Cite

Fuentes-Luque, A., & González-Irizarry, P. L. (2020). Understanding the Urgent Need for Subtitling for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing in the Spanish-Speaking Greater Antilles. Journal of Audiovisual Translation, 3(2), 286–309. https://doi.org/10.47476/jat.v3i2.2020.122



Special Issue: November 2020