The Olympics, Paralympics and Cultural Olympiapad is every where and with so much live online yet if you are deaf or hard of hearing you will be excluded as all video content online is not automatically subtitled.
With a huge jump in on demand services (as in you watch tv programmes, films or other videos online – very little of it is accessible to deaf people. On top of this where is the good practice for video on demand? The Authority for TV on Demand (ATVOD) delivered a consultation about best practice for Audio Description, BSL and subtitling. What has happening since?
Adding to this none of the twenty-two Big Screen events taking place across the UK will be subtitled or audio described – we have been told it is ’technically impossible to do’.
Are public providers taking no heed of The Equalities Act 2010 to anticipate access needs or find solutions? If you go along to any of those events and have a hearing or sight loss you will be missing out all the action.
This campaign is not excluding the importance of British Sign Language or Audio Description of digital content but we need to start somewhere – in this instance it is with The Space website.
The Space was launched in May as a new free digital on demand arts service developed by Arts Council England in partnership of the BBC – with a total budget of £4.5million invested that ‘could help to transform the way people connect with, and experience, arts and culture‘. It’s also available on connected TV and The Space Channel (Freeview HD channel 117).
Yet so little of their content is subtitled or fully accessible to 10 million people who are Deaf or Disabled (nearly 18% of the population).
The Space Arts website will transform the way people connect with and experience the arts – by creating a two tier system of access for them and NOT for us. The UN believes digital access is a human rights issue. So do we.