The Department of Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) recently published a report following their two year review on the future of the UK's media and digital sectors. The report, entitled Connectivity Content and Consumer, contains some interesting findings for deaf and hard of hearing people.
It notes that improvements have been made in the level of audio description for TV programmes. The government are working with Ofcom and the Authority for Television Demand to spearhead further improvements in this area.
The DCMS report also recognises the importance of text relay services in making communication services accessible for deaf people.
Perhaps the most interesting finding was that BT, Lloyds TSB, Halifax and Bank of Scotland have introduced video relay services (VRS) as the result of DCMS's discussions with employer organisations and large businesses. Other businesses are considering introducing a similar scheme.
Commenting on the report Signature chief executive, Jim Edwards, said, "I cautiously welcome the reports findings on communication support for deaf and hard of hearing people.
Whilst it is encouraging that improvements are being made, there is a long way to go to give deaf people the equality of access they need. I am pleased that a number of banking groups have begun to see the value of VRS as a form of communication support and I would encourage more businesses to do so. I hope the government continue to drive forward the improvements needed to deliver the communication support deaf and hard of hearing people need".