Quality subtitles on all media outlets
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My name is Joanna, I’m 41 years old, and I am completely deaf in both ears. Like you, I enjoy watching the latest must-see TV show. Whether it’s Game of Thrones or this week’s episodes of Coronation Street. However, through so many media outlets I’m always missing out.
Like most people with hearing loss, I rely on subtitles that show me what’s being said on screen and what other viewers can hear. Without them, it’s just moving pictures. There are more than 10million people with hearing loss in the UK yet, despite being one of the UK’s biggest television subscription providers, Virgins On Demand and catch up are completely inaccessible to us, because they have no subtitles. It's not just companies such as Sky and Virgin it's also channels such as BBC and ITV. Watching the news is comical at times. The subtitles are slow, missing words or replaced with complete gobbldiguke. Being deaf is like being shut out of the world and is extremely hard to come to terms with so the fact that these companies don't seem to be bothered with the subtitled service just rubs salt into an already open wound. It's so upsetting and frustrating and is just another thing that segregates you with the hearing world.
People with hearing loss want to be able to watch what they want, when they want, how they want – just like everyone else. I feel angry and upset that my disability doesn’t matter to Virgin or other media outlets. It’s unacceptable that they are denying people who have a hearing loss access to the same level of entertainment as hearing people. That’s called discrimination under the Equality Act, which states that people with hearing loss shouldn’t get a poorer service due to their disability.
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