Martin Docherty MP joins hearing loss charity’s campaign to have equal access to TV for people with sight and hearing loss
West Dunbartonshire MP, Martin Docherty has committed support for charity Action on Hearing Loss’ campaign Subtitle It! which is backing legislation that will mean people with sight and hearing loss are able to watch fully accessible video-on-demand services with subtitles, signing and audio description.
The rise of on-demand, streaming and catch-up services has led to the way that we watch television content being transformed which, Parliament couldn’t have foreseen when it passed the 2003 Communications Act. The Act led to huge improvements in the provision of subtitles on traditional TV, but it’s now 12 years old, and technology has outgrown it.
Martin Docherty MP, who is backing the campaign said: ‘The way TV is watched has transformed over recent years – but far too many people with hearing loss are missing out on enjoying the latest shows because subtitles are absent from thousands of hours of ‘on demand’ content. That is why I am backing Action on Hearing Loss’ Subtitle It! campaign to stop people being digitally excluded so that they are able to watch television content when and how they want to.’
Paul Breckell, Chief Executive at charity Action on Hearing Loss says: ‘We are delighted that Martin Docherty MP is backing the Subtitle It! campaign and is calling on the Government to bring in legislation so that deaf and hard of hearing residents from his constituency of West Dunbartonshire can have the same viewing experience as their hearing peers.’
Action on Hearing Loss is jointly working with Sense and RNIB to improve access to TV for people with sight and hearing loss. Access to TV programmes for people with hearing loss has vastly improved in recent years, however many programmes on catch up or video on-demand services do not have subtitles, even if the programmes were subtitled when they were originally broadcast. To find out more please visit www.actiononhearingloss.org.uk/subtitleit