BAI new rules on subtitling criticised


ORGANISATIONS REPRESENTING the disability and ageing sector in Ireland are “deeply shocked” by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland’s proposed new rules which they believe will significantly reduce the amount of subtitling available.

Yesterday the BAI published new rules to govern the level of subtitling, sign language and audio description that Irish television broadcasters must offer to the public. The BAI says the rules aim to make television more enjoyable and accessible for people who are deaf, hard-of-hearing, partially sighted or blind.

TV Access believes the rules ‘‘will worsen the unequal treatment of the hundreds of thousands who have sensory disability”.

It said the new rules will leave the targets for ISL (Irish Sign Language) and audio description at a minimum of 1 per cent of all programmes and will only apply to the two main RTÉ channels.

It’s calling on the BAI to increase the targets to achieve 100 per cent subtitling of all public service broadcasting by 2015.

In Ireland, there are 5,000 people whose first language is Irish Sign Language (ISL) and 13,000 people who are blind, according to TV Access.

Chairperson of the BAI, Bob Collins said: “The BAI is pleased to launch the new Access Rules which have been reviewed and revamped to be more appropriate for these times and to reflect both the needs of viewers and the changing schedules of broadcasters”.