Brent is a RNID volunteer who has progressive, severe hearing loss. He’s invested time and money in expanding his access to TV programmes but is often disappointed by their lack of subtitles, excluding him from enjoying their content.
“I’ve invested a lot of money to get the latest technology, including a TV streamer, which streams sound from the TV direct to my hearing aids. However, I rely on subtitles to understand what’s being said.
“I probably spend most evenings watching TV with my wife. There’s not too much on the TV networks that we enjoy. What there is, we record and watch the programmes on catch up. We watch quite a lot on Amazon Prime and Netflix. I don’t watch any live TV programmes, only recorded and streamed on-demand programmes – that’s so I can pause and rewind when I think I’ve missed something. That’s the thing about deafness, you don’t know when you’ve missed something.
“However, a friend told us of a good series that had started on TV, and that it was worth watching. So, we set it up to record, but we’d missed the first two episodes. So, we go to the catch up, only to find it’s not subtitled, but we try and watch anyway. But half way through I just give up trying to follow the plot and we delete the scheduled recording. There’s no point without subtitles.
“How does that make me feel? I’m left feeling fed up, sad, angry, and excluded because of my deafness. I’m paying for these services like everyone else and I shouldn’t have to cope with this discrimination when subtitles aren’t available.”
Our Subtitle It! campaign
Brent’s experience isn’t rare. We and thousands of our supporters have been campaigning since 2015 for better provision of subtitles and signing on TV and on-demand services. Support our campaign by signing up to the Campaigns Network below, and find out more about the progress of our progress by visiting our Subtitle It! campaigns page.