(V) TELEVISION SERVICES FOR THE DEAF AND
VISUALLY IMPAIRED |
313. Clauses 203 to 207 provide a mechanism for giving
effect to the Government's commitment to strengthen targets for
subtitling on digital terrestrial television, to extend those
requirements to digital cable and satellite services and to make
other provision to improve television for the deaf and hard of
hearing and those who are blind or partially-sighted.
The RNID has broadly welcomed the proposals for increased sub-titling
and signing provision, while calling for final targets to be even
more stretching for public service broadcasters and for demanding
interim targets to be imposed on cable and satellite broadcasters.
The Royal National Institute for the Blind was less satisfied
with the ten per cent target for audio-description, which it viewed
with "deep disappointment".
The Satellite and Cable Broadcasters' Group criticised both the
decision to move from a voluntary system to a statutory code and
the absence of clear criteria for exclusion from the provisions.
The Government has argued that the additional burden on industry
arising from these measures is justified by the public benefit.
We agree. Over 5 million people regularly use subtitles; it has
been estimated that by 2031 at least 2.5 million people in the
United Kingdom will be living with a sight problem.
Improved provision for sub-titling, audio-description and signing
is a necessity not a luxury. We welcome Clauses 203 to 207 which
provide a sound framework to extend such provision across all
licensed services in coming years.
604 HC (2000-01) 161-I, para 123; Cm 5010, para 7.6.2. Back
Ev 530. Back
Ev 530, para 5.11. Back
Ev 533, section 5. Back
RIA, paras C3, C55-C74. Back
HC (2000-01) 161-I, para 123; Ev 530, para 1.2. Back