South of Scotland MSP Aileen McLeod is backing a campaign by the charity Action on Hearing Loss Scotland calling for more and better subtitles for viewers who are deaf or have hearing loss.

Hearing loss affects one in six people and accurate, well timed subtitles are vital to help deaf or hard of hearing people follow what is being said on public information videos as well as television programmes and movies.

The charity’s Subtitle It! campaigners want to achieve equal access to television and movies – whether through digital, on-demand or new media services – for viewers who are deaf or have hearing loss.

Aileen said:

“Television is an essential part of modern living, which allows everyone to participate in the wider world through access to the latest news, information and entertainment. The way we watch TV has transformed over recent years – but far too many viewers who are deaf or have hearing loss are missing out, due to the fact that so few of the new media avenues for watching TV have subtitles available in Scotland.

“I’m backing the Subtitle It! campaign which is encouraging broadcasters and Video on Demand providers to ensure people who are deaf or hard of hearing can use accurate subtitles, which are synchronised with speech, on everything that they watch.”

Delia Henry, Director of Action on Hearing Loss Scotland, said:

“The lack of subtitles is a major issue for our members. As technology has advanced, the ways in which we watch television programmes has changed, but, unfortunately, people who are deaf or have hearing loss are being left behind.

“We’re delighted to have Aileen McLeod MSP’s backing for our Subtitle It! campaign. Just a fraction of on-demand content is subtitled and some local digital television channels don’t provide subtitles at all, so we want a substantial improvement in the provision of subtitles to enable people who are deaf or hard of hearing to have equal access to their favourite shows like everyone else.”

For information about Action on Hearing Loss’s Subtitle It! campaign, visit www.actionhearingloss.org.uk/subtitleit

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