Politics: Victory for RNID on BBC subtitles

The RNID has succeeded in pressurising the BBC into increasing the use of subtitles on the BBC Parliament channel.

The broadcaster has agreed to nearly double the number of subtitled hours each year from 450 to 810, after the RNID and shadow disability minister Jeremy Hunt wrote to Mark Thompson, director-general of the BBC, asking for an increase (Third Sector, 31 May). They also lobbied Jack Straw, leader of the House of Commons, claiming people with hearing problems were missing crucial parliamentary debates.

Subtitles were limited to the first two hours of sitting a day and did not include many afternoon debates. The BBC has yet to decide how the extra hours will be divided, but the RNID is confident people with hearing difficulties will be able to follow major events.

"It should mean key parliamentary events will largely be covered," said Mark Morris, head of parliamentary and European affairs at the RNID.

The charity will review the situation in a year to ensure the provisions are working.

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