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 world's most popular Deaf blog, and is edited by Deaf journalist and filmmaker Charlie Swinbourne.
The site exists thanks to our supporters. Check them out below:
- Signature: Leading awarding body for BSL qualifications
- Ai-Media: Remote captioning. Find out the benefits of live captioning at university!
- Bellman & Symfon: home alerting solutions
- Deaf Umbrella: sign language interpreting and communications support
- BSL Zone: TV programmes in BSL for the Deaf community
- Stellar Communications: Speech-to-Text services
- 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
- Eyewitness Media: TV and film from a Deaf perspective
- The National Theatre: Captioned and BSL accessible theatre in London
- Doncaster School for the Deaf: education for Deaf children
- Signworld: Learn BSL online!
- Helen Foulkes Translations: BSL translations
- RAD Tax Advice: Tax and Tax Credit info for Deaf people
- Performance Interpreting: BSL interpreting at concerts
- National Deaf Children's Society: The leading charity for deaf children
- Signed Culture: Advocating for BSL access to arts and culture
- SignHealth: healthcare charity for Deaf people
- CJ Interpreting: communication support in BSL
- British Society for Mental Health and Deafness: Promoting positive mental health for deaf people
- Action Deafness Communications: sign language and Red Dot online video interpreting
- BSLcourses.co.uk: Provider of online BSL courses
- Association of Notetaking Professionals: The professional body representing Electronic and Manual Notetakers
- Sign Solutions: communication support, training and translation
- InterpretersLive: On demand BSL video interpretation
- Hamilton Lodge School in Brighton: education for Deaf children
- Lipspeaker UK: specialist lipspeaking support
- Hearing Choices: 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