English as a Lingua Nordica

Nordic Editors and Translators would like to invite you to the 2022 English as a Lingua Nordica (#ELN2022) seminar. The ELN series highlights the ways we can use language to contribute to a just society. This year, we focus on inclusive language. The main speaker is Hisayo Katsui, associate professor in disability studies, who will talk about theories of disability studies and how they apply to us in working with text as language professionals. Afterwards, we will have a hands-on workshop on web content accessibility by Pauliina Baltzar and Maija Hirvonen. Coffee and a light snack at the break are included in the price.

Afterwards, join us at the Fat Lizard restaurant in Herttoniemi at 7 pm to continue the discussion. Let us know if you would like to reserve a place for dinner when you RSVP. The Fat Lizard meetup is not included in the price.

Date: September 2 from 3 to 6 pm

Place: Cafe Monami at Rastilan kartano, in the Rastilan Camping area. Address: Karavaanikatu 4, 00980 Helsinki (in Swedish: Karavangatan 4, 00980 Helsingfors). View on Google Maps. Metro: Rastila (Rastböle).

Price: 40 euros for NEaT members and partner members, 50 euros for non-members, to the NEaT account BIC NDEAFIHH, IBAN FI4812373000152220 with the message “ELN seminar”.

TO REGISTER: Send an email to info@nordicedit.fi saying that you will attend the ELN seminar and whether you are a NEaT member, partner member or non-member. Please mention whether you would like to come to the dinner afterwards. Bring proof of payment to show at the registration table at the seminar.

Associate Professor Hisayo Katsui on disability studies in language work


Do you think that the phenomenon of disability is a minority issue? Did you know that 15% of the world population is persons with disabilities? Did you know that there is an international human rights law on disability that we have ratified? Finland is the happiest country in the world. Is Finland a happy country for persons with disabilities?

In my presentation, I try to break down the prejudice against persons with disabilities by using theories of disability studies and Finnish examples. 

Some readers have already noted the phrase, “persons with disabilities” (due to your professions!). I can also explain the ideological background on why this phrase started to be used in disability discourse.  

As texts have the power to form our society and further reinforce our perception and social structure, I would like to engage with you, professionals of texts, to discuss disability.


Hisayo Katsui is Associate Professor in Disability Studies at the University of Helsinki. She has been a board member of the Nordic Network of Disability Research; an editor of the Scandinavian Journal of Disability Research; chairperson of the Finnish Society for Disability Research; and a permanent expert for the Finnish Advisory Board for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Previously, she worked for the former United Nations Special Rapporteur on Disability, Shuaib Chalklen. She has also worked at the Abilis Foundation, a Finnish funding organization for persons with disabilities, formerly led by the late Kalle Könkkölä. Her research interests are disability rights realization and participatory research approaches. She has conducted research and collaboration projects on disabilities in Central Asia, Ethiopia, Finland, Uganda, Nepal, Japan, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mauritius and Cambodia. Her latest books are Disability, Globalization and Human Rights (2020), Viitotut Muistot (2021), and Embodied Inequalities in Disability and Development (2022).

Seminar on accessible language by Pauliina Baltzar and Maija Hirvonen

Title: Web Content Accessibility

In this 90-minute workshop, you will learn the basics on how to do accessible documents, website content and social media content based on the WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) and legislation. The workshop consists of a short introduction to the topic, practical exercises, possible questions and discussion. During the workshop, we will focus on, for example, text formatting, colors, pictures, and language. In practice, we will go through at least:

  • WCAG principles
  • how to use diverse text styles
  • how to create good alternative texts for visual content
  • how to name links
  • how to use colors
  • how to use different tools to help
  • how to produce accessible videos

Pauliina Baltzar is a doctoral researcher in Human-Technology Interaction at Tampere University; her background is in internet and game studies. She is the coordinator of TACCU, the Tampere Accessibility Unit. Pauliina’s dissertation topic focuses on social accessibility in multiplayer games, in other words, she is interested in how disabled people play together. Her recent projects involve, for example, Smart Art, which focuses on developing the competence of performing arts representatives in digitalization and hybrid productions.

Maija Hirvonen, PhD, is Associate Professor of German Language, Culture and Translation at Tampere University. She co-leads the Tampere Accessibility Unit TACCU (https://research.tuni.fi/taccu/), which hosts one of the world’s largest educational offerings on accessibility. Hirvonen’s expertise lies in multimodal communication and interaction and in intermodal translation (especially from images to words in audio description), and her recent projects deal with in human-informed machine learning and artificial intelligence (using language and human interaction to model meaning for machines).