Mark Tami MP backs campaign to have equal access to TV for people with sensory loss

Local MP, Mark Tami attended a parliamentary drop-in hosted by Action on Hearing Loss where he pledged support for the charity’s 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 event was jointly hosted with the Royal National Institute of Blind People and Sense, where Mark Tami MP was briefed on the ability of people with sensory loss to access TV via Video on Demand (VOD) services.

Mark Tami MP, who is backing the campaign said: ‘Watching TV has changed substantially in recent years making it much easier for people to access their favourite programmes when they want to and it is important that people with hearing are able to enjoy them too. That is why I am supporting Action on Hearing Loss’, ‘Subtitle It!’ campaign.

The rise of on-demand, streaming and catch-up services has led to the way that we watch television content being transformed- something which Parliament couldn’t have foreseen when it passed the 2003 Communications Act. The Act led to huge improvements in the provision of subtitles and audio description on traditional TV, but it’s now 12 years old, and technology has outgrown it.

Paul Breckell, Chief Executive at charity Action on Hearing Loss says: ‘We are delighted that Mark Tami 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 Alyn and Deeside 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 or audio description, even if the programmes were subtitled when they were originally broadcast.  To find out more please visit www.actiononhearingloss.org.uk/subtitleit