My name is Jamie, I’m 16 years old, and I have severe hearing loss 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 Eastenders, I want to be part of the conversations that all of my friends are having. However, as a Sky customer, I’m always missing out.
Like most people with hearing loss, I rely on subtitles that show us what’s being said on screen and what other viewers can hear. Without them, it’s just moving pictures to me. There are more than 10million of us in the UK yet, despite being the UK’s biggest television subscription provider, Sky’s On Demand and Sky Go services, as well as their box sets, are completely inaccessible to us, because they have no subtitles.
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 Sky. 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.
Worse still, we’re paying more than £250 a year for a service that we can’t fully use. This isn't fair.
Sky have replied to this petition in the past saying that they are ‘exploring how to address this gap’. This simply isn't good enough. Customers have been raising this issue since 2011, but it’s still not a priority for Sky. They won’t even state a timeframe for getting this sorted out.
Sky have even told some customers with hearing loss that, because Catch up TV is given ‘free’ to customers, it doesn't matter that it’s not accessible! I find this insulting to people with hearing loss.
It’s the 21st century and the technology is available to ensure content on Sky’s On Demand services can have subtitles, just like on their ‘traditional’ channels such as Sky News and Sky One.
I simply want the same service as everyone else. Please help me to get Sky to improve their service for people with hearing loss.
- Making sure your On Demand service has subtitles, including BBC iPlayer, 4OD, ITV Player and Demand 5
- Providing subtitles on your Sky Go streaming service
- Offering subtitles on your box sets