Deaf children the losers in the X Factor?

The X Factor final is on tomorrow night! Personally, I will slap the next ten Irish people I meet if Eoghan beats Alexanda to the prize.

One thing is for sure. A deaf person won’t be able to rely on the subtitles to find out who has won. This year, the subtitles on the X Factor have been appallingly bad. Every deaf friend I know who has watched it thinks the same. The subtitles often don’t come on screen until around a minute after it’s been spoken. That is if it’s comes on at all.

ITV would probably say that subtitling errors are inevitable on live programmes. Which is fair enough (though this does beg the question over why if it is absolutely necessary the X Factor has to be shown live). But this doesn’t explain why the subtitles on the repeated shows of the X Factor are also rubbish.

Is anyone taking the quality of subtitles seriously at ITV? As far as I know, there is no real time monitoring of subtitles, in the same way as there is of audio or visual quality. If the picture screws up, the programme is interrupted, an apology is given and some muzak is played. If the subtitles screw up, the programme carries on as normal and you’re expected to write in with details of the errors.

I’ve singled out the X Factor just because it’s a programme enjoyed by lots of deaf children I meet. Their viewing needs are just as important as everyone else. Deaf children shouldn’t be the losers on this programme.


4 thoughts on “Deaf children the losers in the X Factor?

  1. How do deaf children gain enjoyment from X-Factor ? they cannot hear what is being sung can they ? Perhaps like hearing children they enjoy the hype of it ? I think the titles are a godsend, because I am reliably informed the singing is terrible ! Frankly I am glad I am at the age where TV tends to be an ornament in my home and not a central part of it. I am none too sure if x-factor is suitable viewing for deaf children really, it is a show about losers, the non-talented, cry babies, and a platform for egotistical ‘celebs’ to poke fun at everyone who takes part, and in the end they pick the people who will make money for them.

    Pre 1900 people used to visit lunatic asylums and have a day out laughing at the inmates, before that perverse French people used to que up to watch people having their heads chopped off, x-factor is this century’s equivalent. There is no substitute for talent, or there didn’t use to be, today stars are made, not born, and on a shabby looking conveyor belt too. None will be recognised next week… they don’t put the leg work in.

  2. I’m going to go for NDCS’s definition of deafness which includes any child with any type of hearing – from mild to total. Most deaf children I meet listen and enjoy music – myself included and I have a profound loss.

    Well, I’m not going to debate the pros and cons of the X Factor, but many deaf children I meet also enjoy watching the X Factor, especially alongside their hearing peers. It has cropped up a lot recently in conversations I’ve had with young deaf people, hence this posting.


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