A new report by charity Action on Hearing Loss (formerly RNID) into on-demand subtitling – including on catch-up TV and online film services – has found that more than two thirds of those who pay for subscriptions would switch their TV service providers if more on-demand content with subtitles was available elsewhere.
The report, entitled ‘Progress on pause: spelling out the case for subtitles on on-demand services’, comes off the back of the charity’s Subtitle It! campaign over summer 2015. Over 3,750 people with hearing loss got involved and completed an online survey about how they watch on-demand content, and what barriers they face to accessing it.
89% of those who responded said that they rely on subtitles to watch TV at least some of the time, and 87% have started to watch a programme on demand and found that it had no subtitles. Nine out of ten people stated that they think the government should regulate to ensure subtitles are available for on-demand services.
Paul Breckell, chief executive at Action on Hearing Loss, said: “This report has unearthed some astonishing statistics about on-demand subtitling and highlighted huge barriers faced by people living with hearing loss when trying to access on-demand content. Whilst traditional television services are obliged by law to include subtitling, the way we watch TV has changed dramatically, and the law needs to be updated to include on-demand services.
“There’s a clear, demonstrable business case here for service providers to up their game and make their content fully accessible to everyone. There are 10million people in the UK living with hearing loss and it is about time we ended their digital exclusion.”
According to the report, 83% of people with hearing loss have missed out on an on-demand programme, film or series altogether, due to a lack of subtitles, and the latest figures from the on-demand services regulator ATVOD found that 80% of UK on-demand services had no subtitles.
Lilian Greenwood MP has backed the campaign and has submitted a Private Members Bill to the House of Commons.
To find out more about the Subtitle It! campaign and to take a look at the report, please visit www.actiononhearingloss.org.uk/ProgressOnPause/
The Limping Chicken is the UK’s deaf blogs and news website, and is the world’s most popular deaf blog. It is edited by Deaf journalist and filmmaker Charlie Swinbourne.
Please note that the views of the writers are their own, and not necessarily the views of the Editor or site as a whole. Read our disclaimer here.
- Ai-Media: Remote captioning. How to make Live Automated Captions with Apple’s Latest 'Clips' App
- Bellman & Symfon: home alerting solutions
- Deaf Umbrella: sign language interpreting and communications support
- Appa: Communication services for Deaf, Deafblind and hard of hearing people
- SignLive: Online video interpreting for Deaf people
- SignVideo: Instant BSL video interpreting online
- 121 Captions: captioning and speech-to-text services
- Hearing Direct: Online hearing aids
- Signature: Leading awarding body for BSL qualifications
- Signworld: Learn BSL online!
- Cast Theatre, Doncaster: The UK's the UK’s first fully BSL integrated pantomime
- The National Theatre: Captioned and BSL accessible theatre in London
- Doncaster School for the Deaf: education for Deaf children
- Hamilton Lodge School in Brighton: education for Deaf children
- Lipspeaker UK: specialist lipspeaking support
- Ozen: Australian hearing aid specialists
- Elmfield School, Bristol: Inclusive education for Deaf pupils
- deafPLUS: BSL advice helpline
- Exeter Deaf Academy: education for Deaf children
- Royal Shakespeare Company: Captioned and BSL interpreted performances (see dates here)
- Royal School for the Deaf, Derby: Residential education for deaf children
- RAD Tax Advice: Tax and Tax Credit info for Deaf people
- Deaf Independent: Deaf care and support services
- Performance Interpreting: BSL interpreting at concerts
- National Deaf Children's Society: The leading charity for deaf children
- cSeeker: Deaf-led educational communication support service
- Signed Culture: Advocating for BSL access to arts and culture
- SignHealth: healthcare charity for Deaf people
- CJ Interpreting: communication support in BSL
- Sign Solutions:, language and learning
- Action Deafness Communications: sign language and Red Dot online video interpreting
- BSLcourses.co.uk: Provider of online BSL courses
- British Society for Mental Health and Deafness: Promoting positive mental health for deaf people