Charities welcome regulator's targets for subtitled shows

Hearing-impairment charities have welcomed a decision by communications regulator Ofcom to set targets for the number of programmes subtitled on cable and satellite channels.

The charities, including the RNID, Sense, and the Deaf Broadcasting Council, were demanding that the regulator used its discretionary powers to insist that channels achieve interim targets for subtitling (Third Sector, 14 July).

The interim targets, announced at the end of last month, should see subtitling increased in 2005, 2008 and 2011, before hitting 80 per cent of programming by 2014.

Ofcom also increased the number of channels affected from 50 to 70, including three Disney channels and Hallmark, which had been exempt in the regulator's original plans.

John Low, chief executive of the RNID, said: "We are delighted that, after tireless campaigning, Ofcom now recognises the importance that subtitling plays in the lives of deaf and hard-of-hearing people."

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