George Adam MSP is backing a new campaign by the charity Action on Hearing Loss Scotland which is calling for more subtitles for people who are deaf or have hearing loss.
Hearing loss affects an estimated one in six people in Paisley and accurate, timely subtitles are vital to help deaf or hard of hearing people follow what is being said on public information videos as well as television programmes and movies.
The charity has launched its Subtitle It! campaign to achieve equal access to television and movies – whether through digital, on-demand or new media services – for viewers who are deaf or have hearing loss.
Delia Henry, Director of Action on Hearing Loss Scotland, said: “The lack of subtitles is one of the biggest issues we are contacted about by our members. As technology has advanced, the ways in which we watch television programmes has changed, but, unfortunately, people with hearing loss are being left behind.
“Just a fraction of on-demand content is currently subtitled and some local digital television channels don’t provide subtitles at all, so we want broadcasters and the video-on-demand industry to substantially improve their subtitles provision to enable people with hearing loss to have equal access to their favourite shows like everyone else.
“We’re delighted that George Adam MSP is behind our Subtitle It! campaign to stop the digital exclusion of people with hearing loss in Paisley.”
George Adam MSP said: “Access to TV programmes for people with hearing loss has vastly improved in recent years, however I was shocked to learn that more than 80 per cent of on-demand providers don’t offer any subtitles on their catch-up services and that digital channels in Scotland can do much better too.
Having spoken to Action on Hearing Loss Scotland campaigners, I’m aware of the understandable frustration that the lack of subtitles causes many who are deaf or hard of hearing – especially when programmes on catch-up services were originally broadcast with subtitles provided!
“I encourage all my constituents to support Action on Hearing Loss’s Subtitle It! campaign to encourage broadcasters and Video on Demand providers to ensure people who are deaf or hard of hearing can use accurate subtitles, which are synchronised with speech, on everything that they watch.”
For information about Action on Hearing Loss’s Subtitle It! campaign, visit www.actionhearingloss.org.uk/subtitleit