April 10, 2017
Ofcom has published a report setting out the proportion of on-demand programme services with subtitles, audio description or signing, and a statement on changes to the way Ofcom will collect and publish data on the accessibility of these services.
The report covers the period from April 2015 to March 2016, and looks at a wide range of on-demand services ranging from catch-up TV to film services and local TV archives.
The report shows that, during the period, 68% of providers did not provide any access services at all. While 32% did provide some subtitling, only 6% provided audio description and signing.
There is currently no legal requirement on providers of ODPS to make their services accessible to people with hearing and/or visual impairments. This differs from broadcast television services, where broadcasters must achieve specific accessibility targets.
Today’s statement sets out changes to the way Ofcom will collect and publish data on the accessibility of on-demand services. In future, providers of such services will be required to submit data more frequently, in line with the collection of data on broadcast accessibility.
This change will allow Ofcom, industry and consumers to measure progress and compare accessibility across television services. Ofcom says that it will also ensure that the data collected is detailed enough to help consumers choose between services. To access the report, click here. To access the statement, click here.