European Commission Joint Research Centre, Institute for the Protection and Security of the Citizen, VOICE Project
Media > Televisions > Harmonisation > Seville Conference

Development and harmonisation of subtitling in European television broadcasting
TV Broadasting for All
A joint CEN-CENELEC-ETSI Workshop, with the support of
The European Commission, ONCE Foundation, AENOR

Seville, 13-14 June 2002
Gran Hotel Renacimiento (Giralda Hall)
Isla de la Cartuja s/n, 41092 Seville (Spain)


Nowadays, television broadcasting is an essential access point to information, culture and entertainment. If this matter of fact is considered as being normal for 385 million of European citizens, it is not always the case for 59 million of hearing impaired people (of which 4,7 million are profoundly deaf) and 7,4 million of visually impaired people. Although this situation has considerably been improved in the past years, it should be emphasized that in some areas there are still some outstanding issues, which continue to hamper a wider development and use of subtitling, sign language interpretation and audio description technologies and services.
Moreover, it should be emphasized that developments in this field will not only benefit the community of deaf and blind people, but will also improve the living conditions of a larger circle of users like the elderly or people residing or travelling in foreign countries.
Though some issues are mainly of political nature, others are relevant to standardization and imply the involvement of broadcasters as well as the equipment manufacturers.
In the framework of the Commission's eEurope initiative, CEN, CENELEC and ETSI decided to organize a workshop in order to clearly indentify those issues. This workshop will also bring the existing standards to the light and will define the way foreward where gaps and standardization needs are pointed out.


The objectives of the workshop would be to discuss all issues in the domain of subtitling and audio description that could be addressed by standardization. A report will summarize the different issues identified during the workshop and will propose a way forward.

Targeted audience

The issues tackled in this workshop will involve the following stakeholders:

Date and Place

The workshop will take place on 13th June 2002 (afternoon) and 14th June 2002 (morning) in Sevilla (Spain), a week before the European Council to be held also in the capital of Andalusia.

13th June

14:00 Registration

14:00-16:00 - Demos of subtiling practices by different TV Broadcasters will take place during Registration time in separate rooms.
The Broadcasters are invited to present a selection from their subtitled and/or audio-descripted films and news or on their activities in these fields (for instance the use of voice to text recognition systems).
In principle, 5 to 10 minutes will be available for each presentation, depending on the number of the requests. A few TV sets, VHS (PAL) videorecorders and CD-ROM or DVD readers, and a screen-to-wall projector will be available in a presentation room for this section. The equipment (except the screen-to-wall projector) will remain there also for further presentations during the coffee breaks. Other specific equipment should be agreed on, or preferably provided by the Broadcasters themselves.
The Broadcasters wishing to present their work may please send an e-mail message to with copy to .
All Broadcasters are please asked to provide us with information in order to fill in a comparative table that we are preparing. This table is an important starting reference point for creating contacts and defining the points to discuss in the following steps. Please send to the information for all the columns, or at least please check that your WebSite and Email are reported correctly and send a message indicating the number of monthly hours of your subtitled broadcasts.
Also the Associations of people with disabilities are kindly invited to inform us on their activities in this field.

16:00 Opening ceremony, by Mr. Carlos Domingo Pagés, Vice-President of CENELEC
16:10 Keynote speech, by Mrs. Anne Lehouck, European Commission
16:30 The importance of accessibility for the disabled, by Mr. C. R. Fernàndez Gutiérrez, Director General of Fundación ONCE Representative
16:50 Subtitling achievements and limitations, by Mr. Pirelli, EC-JRC VOICE Project's co-ordinator
17:20 Audiodescription and its penetration, by Sir John Wall, President of EBU (European Blind Union)
17:50 Coffee break

18:10 Role of the Standards Organizations in accessibility for all, by Mr. Rosenbrock, Director of ETSI
18:40 The point of view of the Broadcasters, by Mr. Laven, EBU (European Broadcasting Union)
19:00 The Consumer electronic manufacturers, by Mr. Jan Van Lier, EICTA

19:20 Open debate
20:00 Conclusions and closure of day 1, by Mr. Domingo Pagés, Vice President of CENELEC
20:30 Cocktail offered by CENELEC

14th June

09:00 Two parallel sessions will take place in different rooms:

Session 1: The Services: identifying and anticipating specific services for the disabled integrating Design for All requirement

Session 2: The Interface: Identifying the requirements to enable the development of a harmonised and widely accessible interface

11:00 Coffee break
11:30 Session 1 and 2 con't

13:00 Conclusions by the Chairman and closure of the Workshop, by Mr. Parlevliet, Secretary General of CENELEC


The Workshop's official language is English. ONCE Foundation is considering providing intepretation into Spanish and into Sign Language. For more details, please contact them directly.


The attendance to the Workshop is free of charge, but registration is necessary.
A registration form is available at the last page of the programme in PDF format .

Hotel booking

Message from :
The Gran Hotel Renacimiento of the Cartuja Island in Seville had granted 40 rooms at the price of: € 117.20 single € 135.23 double € 12.90 breakfast. Please quote the word CENELEC when booking so you can have access to these prices. Bookings are understood for the period of the conference (nights of June 12 and 13). For any additional dates you must tell the hotel directly. Speakers should contact the CENELEC Central Secretariat before booking.
The hotel is fully accessible to people with disabilities. We would suggest those who need these special services request them when booking your room.
Reservations: fax 0034 954463383, tel. 0034 954462222, or via email

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