deaf and hard of hearing

10 petitions

Update posted 1 month ago

Petition to Sharon White, Matt Hancock MP, Bill Emmott, Marie Rimmer MP

Give Deaf People Access To Subtitles On Every TV Show

Most of us know that subtitles are available on the telly. What you may not know is that once you switch them on, they are not on every channel or program, and when they are - they are often so bad it is impossible to follow. Imagine a TV channel where the sound came and went, was missing half the time or worse - was never there at all! It would soon lose it's license, yet that is exactly what deaf and hard of hearing people experience with subtitles on a daily basis! My 86-year old Mum gradually lost her hearing over the past 16 years. Television is her main source of entertainment and connection to the outside world.  Here in the UK, aside from BBC 1 and BBC 2, ITV 1 and Channel 4 there is a lack of subtitles, including intermittent or poor quality subtitles on other channels. Even the 'major' Channel 5 is hit and miss, with subtitles being totally absent from Mum's favourite, The Wright Stuff, which she depends upon most days for news and current affairs. Today she started watching a good drama on ITV 3 and there were no subtitles available. Many of her favourite shows are on Alibi and there are rarely any subtitles. On other channels such as Universal subtitles are present, but only reflect a third of what is actually being said, leaving the audience to guess at what is happening. They are not available at all on catch-up or pay per view.  When Mum cannot follow the dialogue or storyline she becomes visibly withdrawn and loses interest. It is heartbreaking to see her gradually withdraw into herself, as she finds fewer and fewer channels that she can fully enjoy with reliable subtitles. The outside world is gradually becoming less accessible to her, and there are few channels that we can enjoy together. And she is not alone...  According to the UK charity, Action on Hearing Loss: There are more than 11 million people in the UK with some form of hearing loss, or one in six of the population. By 2035, it is estimated that there will be 15.6 million people with hearing loss in the UK - that's one in five. More than 900,000 people in the UK are severely or profoundly deaf. There are more than 45,000 deaf children in the UK, plus many more who experience temporary hearing loss. More than 70% of over 70 years-old and 40% of over 50 years-old have some kind of hearing loss.  Source:  Equal access to information, education, and entertainment is essential to maintaining quality of life and to reduce the sense of exclusion and isolation that can be felt by people with impaired hearing, particularly elderly people. Part-time, intermittent and absent subtitles do NOT constitute 'equal access'.  It has been estimated that there are over 480 television channels available in the UK*, only a handful of which provide high quality subtitles for every program. Clearly TV broadcasters cannot be left to their own initiative to provide reliable closed captioning, otherwise it would already be standard across the board.*source:  Television is not a luxury, it is a part of normal life, a source of information, news and education, and a vital lifeline for many people. IT IS NOT ACCEPTABLE THAT DEAF AND HEARING IMPAIRED PEOPLE CONTINUE TO BE EXCLUDED.  This petition calls on the Government and OFCOM to make high quality closed captioning (subtitles) accessible on ALL programs, across all channels (on digital terrestrial, satellite, cable, and internet protocol television/ IPTV, including catch-up and pay per view services), as an ongoing broadcast industry standard. It is now time to ensure that deaf and hearing impaired people have full and equal ongoing access to the full range of high quality television programming.

Ruth Hadikin
225 supporters
Update posted 2 months ago

Petition to Theresa May MP, UK Parliament, Justine Greening

Greater recognition for deaf young people

My name is Jacob Atkinson. I am a severely deaf 18-year-old young man who is passionate about seeing the Government improve the educational chances of deaf young people. After consistent applications and email communications to the Government and to the Official Opposition over the past year, nothing has been done by either party and I have received nothing but empty platitudes. In the recent General Election (June 2017), this issue was not specifically mentioned or campaigned upon in any party manifesto. Under the current Conservative Government, deaf young people have been failed appallingly by the Government's decision to decrease funding to local authorities, meaning that local authorities have been forced to cut the funding which they use to supply Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) students and schools with crucial SEND equipment such as FM radio aids, and give deaf-awareness training to teachers. (Brain Gale covers this issue well in his article 'Education Funding and Deaf Children' for The Limping Chicken.) After years of austerity, the funding cuts across the country have become so severe that in some counties, such as Northumberland, parents are now being asked to provide money to plug Government funding cuts. This is extremely concerning, and the effects of the cuts can be seen in the attainment gap between SEND young people and children with no identified special educational needs: on a national level, almost two-thirds (58.9%) of deaf children are failing to achieve the Government's expected benchmark of five GCSEs at grade A* - C (including English and Maths), compared to just 35.8% of other children with no identified special educational need. (NDCS, 2015). I want to encourage MPs to stand on this issue in Parliament, so that appropriate debate is generated; and to ensure that in future general elections, all parties have a clear commitment to working with organisations such as the National Deaf Children's Society (NDCS) to improve the attainability of deaf young people across the United Kingdom. Local authorities will be pushed to provide extra funding to state schools and academies under their control, so that schools have the necessary money to purchase SEND equipment and to organise deaf-awareness training for teachers who will be/are teaching deaf young people.

Jacob Atkinson
91 supporters
Started 6 months ago

Petition to UK Cinema Association, Odeon Cinemas, Vue Cinemas, Cineworld

Cinemas to show more subtitled films at reasonable times!

Do you have a hearing loss and feel you hardly get to see a subtitled film of your choice at a cinema near you? My name is Ellie, also known as Deafie Blogger. I’m 20 and profoundly deaf. During my childhood, teenage years and even now, I hardly get a chance to go to the cinema, as there is always a lack of subtitled showings. I miss out on cinema trips with my friends and family because of this. It makes me feel like an outsider, and is very frustrating and isolating. My hearing friends eagerly await the latest blockbuster movie, but I know that I probably won't get the chance to see it. People like me, who have a hearing loss often rely on subtitles to understand what’s being said on screen. I’ve contacted the cinemas multiple times and I’ve heard every excuse imaginable. The main reason, that there’s “no demand”. This is only because Deaf people have given up going to the cinema, as there’s a lack of showings! Most subtitled showings appealing to teenagers/adults are either during the day when they are at school or working, or early morning at the weekend- which for a child or teenager, they don’t want to get up at that time! It’s not reasonable. Cinema managers have tried to justify not showing subtitles by using the excuse that hearing people don't want to see subtitles on the screen, but they have the choice to go and see any of the other many showings on that day, we don’t. I've done some work with Action on Hearing Loss for their SubtitleIt- TV on demand campaign which was a success, with the government forcing broadcasters to display subtitles on their On-Demand channels. I feel the cinemas are the next area we should be targeting. The Equality Act 2010 states that organisations must make “reasonable adjustments” for those using their services. I don’t see this as reasonable and cinemas should follow accessibility regulations. In an ideal world, we should be able to go the cinema when we want and request subtitles, but as this can’t happen, I’m asking you to help me. My aim is to have a compromise of more subtitled showings at more reasonable times and days, for example as well as showings during the day, some should be at evenings during the week, especially weekend afternoons. Please sign my petition to help prove to cinemas that there is demand for subtitled showings, and to have more subtitled showings at reasonable times.

Ellie Parfitt
1,833 supporters