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Ofcom publishes report on VoD access services

Currently there is no legislation in place to ensure VoD platforms provide subtitles, audio description or signing

Ofcom has released a new report setting out the extent at which VoD services carried out access services from April 2015 to March 2016.

Currently there is no legislation in place to ensure VoD platforms provide subtitles, audio description or signing.

The report found that during the period in question 68 per cent of platforms carried no access services at all.

While 32 per cent did provide some form of subtitling, only six per cent provided audio description and signing.

Ofcom’s report says that for consumers who use access services, the best place to view on demand content was on a PC via a website – with 23 per cent of providers making subtitles available this way.

Just six per cent of providers made subtitles available via Connected TV apps or set top box services such as Virgin, Sky and YouView (seven per cent).

Ofcom says this is a particular concern as consumer groups such as RNIB, Action on Hearing Loss and Sense continue say many of their members are from an older demographic who prefer to view catch-up television via more conventional ‘living room’ platforms (i.e. set-top boxes).

Ofcom’s report follows the news that the European Broadcasting Union recently put together a proposal to improve the accessibility of audiovisual media services for people with disabilities.