End the Communication Breakdown for Deaf People Urges Deaf Charity


One of the UK’s leading deaf charities believes Ofcom’s consultation on live TV subtitling provides a chance to improve the everyday communication experiences of deaf people.

Signature welcomes the consultation and will be submitting a full response. Ofcom have launched an inquiry into the quality of subtitling on live TV. The inquiry was launched to examine delays and inaccuracies, which have coincided with the increase in live TV subtitling.

Ofcom have received negative feedback from viewers who often find subtitling for live programmes frustrating and in many cases unwatchable. The media regulator are obliged to provide guidance for TV broadcaster to promote the viewing experience of deaf and hard of hearing people and are keen to re-examine the situation.

The inquiry will tackle these issues with broadcasters such as the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Five and Sky who provide the overwhelming majority of live TV subtitling.

The review will be conducted from the viewer’s perspective to gain an insight into the difficulties they experience.

Commenting on the consultation Signature’s Director of Marketing and Communications Paul Parsons said “Ofcom’s consultation is an important step towards recognising the communication difficulties Deaf people experience on a day to day basis. I would strongly encourage deaf people to have their say by submitting their views and experiences to the inquiry.

Poor, delayed and inaccurate subtitling puts deaf people at a real disadvantage. Television is a shared cultural experience that deaf people should be able to enjoy in the same way as most other people take for granted. Better quality subtitles will make a huge difference and this consultation gives us all a great chance to achieve that”.

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