I’m thrilled to see my guest blog is on the Action on Hearing Loss website today!
I’ve been a member of Action on Hearing Loss for years now, including spending a year fund-raising and supporting their activities, and it’s really satisfying being able to play a part in campaigning and raising awareness on hearing loss issues.
I was delighted to be asked to write a response to the recent ATVOD report about the poor levels of subtitling for on-demand services. We all know the technology exists to make this happen – the BBC has 100% of its content fully accessible – so other broadcasters are lagging way behind and they need a sharp poke with a pointy stick to get them to catch up.
Yes, there are technical difficulties, but if the sound went off on normal programmes you wouldn’t be able to hear yourself think as a scream of protest went up around the world from people with normal hearing! Why should we be any different?
Sky is missing a huge financial opportunity here too – there are 7.5m people in the UK who regularly need subtitles but can’t access anything on Sky’s ‘On Demand’ service. It’s so disappointing/frustrating/irritating!!! If Sky got their finger out and provided subtitles just think how many more potential customers they could get!
The new ATVOD report out today shows that 96% of Sky TV’s on-demand services have no subtitles. Well that stinks! No wonder we all get so annoyed when we have to pay full price for our Sky subscription but can’t access most of it online because we can’t hear the dialogue.
And just to show that feeble excuses about ‘technical difficulties’ won’t be accepted – contrast the results against the BBC who have 98% of their on-demand services fully accessible with subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Well done BBC!