A photo of Josh.

Interview with Olga Davis

How did you first become interested in accessibility?

Last year, when I left my full-time job to work as a freelance audio-visual translator, I started learning about different access services. I went to film screenings at the local cinema, where AD was available and was amazed at the richness and precision of vocabulary used to describe the films. It was almost the next level of translation from what I’d already been doing – translating for dubbing, voice-over and subtitling. I then signed up for a Subtitling for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (SDH) course and also an Introduction to Audio Description webinar, where as my coursework I produced audio description to the performance of the Short Programme by Evgenia Medvedeva, Russian figure skating star at the 2017 World Championships, Helsinki, Finland.1

What surprised you most in your work practice?

When I worked for Discovery Channel (2010-16) access services were not part of our localisation portfolio for the territories I was responsible for. In the past year, having done some studies and research, I see that there is a general lack of provision of access services in the aforesaid territories. I think there are two reasons for this, and they go hand in hand: the people who need access services are not aware of their right to have them and, perhaps, insufficient demand for the services results in the lack of guidelines, training and work opportunities in the accessibility field, but things are beginning to change (more about this at the Conference).

Are there any restrictions or boundaries you (have to) abide by?

Time constraints, in two dimensions: limited amount of time to fit in the text/description and completion deadlines. Restricted funding/budget for projects in this area.

What do you hope to achieve through your work?

I hope to raise awareness about access services and create accessible materials for people who need them.

Can you tell us a little about you forthcoming projects (related to accessibility)?

This summer I’m finishing my course in SDH and am looking for opportunities to apply my new skills as SDH subtitler and audio describer.

Olga also took part in our first conference,, on which more information can be found on our relevant page.


  1. The AD of the figure skating short performance mentioned in question 1 (in Russian).