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August 4, 2004

Charity Welcomes TV Subtitles Boost

From: The Scotsman, UK - Aug 4, 2004

By Ben Pindar, Community Newswire

A charity for the deaf has today welcomed the news that television broadcasters have been ordered to increase the percentage of subtitled programmes they air.

The Royal National Institute for the Deaf said millions of people would benefit from communications watchdog Ofcom's new ruling.

The regulator has ruled that 70 of the most popular digital cable and satellite television channels must subtitle a prescribed percentage of their programmes.

John Low, chief executive of the charity, said: "One million people in the UK are reliant on subtitles to enjoy television, and five million people use them frequently, proving that millions of people will benefit from Ofcom's decision to demand increased levels of subtitling from digital cable and satellite television channels.

"Ofcom has risen well to the challenge of ensuring equality of access to television for people with sensory disability."

His views were echoed by the MP for Lichfield, Michael Fabricant, who said: "The need for improved subtitling for deaf and hard of hearing people cannot be ignored.

"For many of my constituents, subtitles are of vital importance and enable them to access broadcast information and entertainment.

"Deaf and hard of hearing people will now have much greater access to important news, documentaries, sport and entertainment on television."