Friday, 8 December 2017

Deaf unable to access Parliament TV.

Image result for Parliament TV
More deaf complaining they are being told by the BBC to search online for text coverage and to ignore televised Parliament (UK), output as its 'for hearing only'.


Poster on social media:

"I ran a campaign within the deaf community to get access, they said 'We don't want it, who cares about politics ?     boring !"  We got no backing from the AOHL/BDA or anyone else either.  I personally believe it is outright abuse of my human rights to have my access to my government ignored and told to use alternative access to what I use, or to go online and search for it, when hearing just switch on their TV set..    

The way programs are prioritised for access for us is random, initially you have to 'prove' there is sufficient demand for subtitled or captioned access, this defies the law that says access is a right.  However viewer statistics have to attain a certain number and the way they collate figures and the access requirements makes it all a lottery.  E.G. Programs like 'SEE HEAR' for the deaf or BSL Zone cannot be removed if they had NO viewers because the access law applies there on a  cultural basis.  This means deaf who use captions/HoH have no real access as they are classed as 'hearing' without a cultural access right.  Whilst such 'dedicated' TV IS captioned the content isn't relevant.

But doesn't apply to any program output that is bought in from elsewhere (Subcontracted TV coverage).  The welsh assembly e.g. has no direct hiring of coverage of what they do, but does have own  in-house 'Senedd TV', that isn't accessible either,we were unable to get sensory loss/deaf committees captioned or signed.  As a result the committees failed, after charities got fed up of having to provide own access for free.

We are further undermined by deaf representations that say we don't care if it is or not !   To ID who has responsibility to caption is a minefield.  Wales Assembly said not our problem, it is down to those that create the coverage, the overall responsibility to caption is not the obligation (moral or legal), of the parliaments or assemblies to ensure coverage of what they do is captioned or signed.  We suggested yes it is, as the BBC broadcasts it,it then is covered by their access legal requirement.  Demands Political areas should set the basis of coverage to fair access was ignored. Local authorities also defy access regulations as do MP's/AM's/SMP's etc who produce own blog coverage with videos.  

In essence Parliament, BBC/ITV/SKY et al channels and regional Assemblies pass the buck.

You are then forced to lobby the people who make coverage to provide captions.  No-one takes responsibility for deaf access, I have succeed to a very small degree in Wales where they put up 1st Minister question time up on youtube and it is captioned/signed, but the Parliament channel they don't want to know.  

I suspect the huge cost of captioning every committee or meet they have is astronomic so I targeted just areas that were relevant to our areas.  However when I suggested that approach as a compromise the deaf then turned around and said NO, not without sign language too, that killed the whole thing.  I said why would you want sign language access when they already declared you don't watch it, and opposed a captioned campaign ? 

The criteria for listing programs re numbers ignores minorities, and ignores regional variations.  If Scotland/Ireland or wales had low deaf figures then none would get access.  Because political coverage has low viewer base anyway there can never be a relative number identified that would justify captioned or signed access,it is why I went for specific access as a compromise, but the ambiguity of the deaf campaigns and their singular approaches to access combined with a complete ridicule of the political access campaigns, means we are never going to know what our politicians say unless we search online,and how many actually do that ?

The approach seems to be wait for the decision, then complain after, instead of taking an active interest in determining them and ensuring we are included."


ATR's letter to the UK Parliament TV:

As a deaf person there appears to be no sign-language or captioned access, when can we expect this TV channel to be accessible ?  I would have thought the voters access to its government was a right ?

No deaf access defined HERE





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