Ofcom publishes update on accessibility of broadcast and on-demand programme services

Ofcom has published a report on the accessibility of broadcast and on-demand services covering January to July 2019. It sets out the proportion of these services with subtitles, audio description or signing for people with visual and/or hearing impairments.

The report includes data on both broadcast and on-demand accessibility. The information is published in an interactive format to make it easier for people to compare accessibility across different television services.

The report shows that all channels broadcasting in the UK were on course to meet or exceed their requirements for the year 2019. Over half (56.6%) of on-demand services, which include public service broadcasters’ catch-up services, offered subtitled content, 18.7% of providers offered audio description and 14.7% offered signing.

There is currently no legal requirement on providers of on-demand programming services to make their content accessible to people with hearing and/or visual impairments. This differs from broadcast television services, where broadcasters must achieve specific accessibility targets. In December 2018 Ofcom gave its recommendations to Government on regulations to improve the accessibility of on-demand services, and is currently supporting Government’s drafting of Regulations. To access the report, click here.