Exeter Royal Academy for Deaf Education is sending a big thank you to BBC Bitesize for adding more subtitles to the video clips shown on their free online learning resource.
The Exeter Deaf Academy’s School Council contacted the BBC in December because subtitles for the majority of classroom video clips were unavailable and not meeting the needs of deaf students.
They rallied support from their fellow pupils, school Governors, Trustees, staff and parents, who wrote letters to Tony Hall, Director General of the BBC in support of adding more subtitling to BBC Bitesize video clips.
The free BBC Bitesize website brings together the BBC’s education content which covers all the main curriculum subjects, and thousands of curriculum-mapped video clips for secondary and primary classrooms.
Its mission is to provide everything a pupil needs for homework, coursework and exam revision in a memorable and entertaining way.
English Teacher Deb Thomas explained:
‘The BBC is leading as an accessibility provider of online content. BBC Bitesize is a brilliant example of technology enabling learning beyond the established boundaries of school, engaging students in creative school-focussed activities’.
“With examinations looming, BBC Bitesize is a great revision tool. For instance, there is a wonderful Bitesize resource for GCSE English which explains the key points of Shakespeare really well through humour and highly visual film clips that are memorable. Without subtitles I would interpret these videos in the classroom using sign language but it loses the entertaining style of presentation and comedy timing that BBC Bitesize achieves so well.’
Year 9 pupil and elected Chair of the School Council, Alex, rallied support in school assembly and the School Council worked together to get this changed.
“BBC Bitesize is really helpful to hearing students. It gives ideas on how to do well in lessons and explains things to students in a good way, sometimes funny too. But we couldn’t revise using BBC Bitesize because it was not Deaf friendly and that’s not fair.”
The School Council also contacted local MP Ben Bradshaw who supported the campaign and said: ‘I’m so pleased the BBC listened to and are acting on our concerns. I’d like to congratulate students and staff at the Exeter Deaf Academy for their campaign.’
Editor for BBC Schools, Rebekka Campbell responded:
“The BBC takes provision for its deaf and hearing impaired audiences very seriously. All new Bitesize clips are now subtitled as a matter of course and we’ve also added subtitles to 650 older clips in the collection.
“Much of our interactive content on Bitesize is fully subtitled, and our newer, specially-commissioned video content is also subtitled or accompanied by a transcript. The majority of our classroom clips are not subtitled yet but we our working to address this now. Our work is ongoing and we offer our sincerest apologies for the frustration this causes.”
The Limping Chicken is the world's most popular Deaf blog, and is edited by Deaf journalist and filmmaker Charlie Swinbourne. Find out how to write for us by clicking here, how to follow us by clicking here, and read our disclaimer here.
The site exists thanks to our supporters. Check them out below:
- Ai-Media: Remote captioning. Find out about the Deaf fashion bloggers taking on the world!
- 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
- Signature: Leading awarding body for BSL qualifications
- The National Theatre: Captioned and BSL accessible theatre in London
- Doncaster School for the Deaf: education for Deaf children
- Signworld: Learn BSL online!
- 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
- Cast Theatre, Doncaster: The UK's the UK’s first fully BSL integrated pantomime
- 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
- 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