Making deaf children matter

Musings and blogs from a deaf campaigner

BBC online video news stories: that deja vu feeling…

Posted by Ian Noon on February 24, 2009

Today, I am mostly experiencing deja vu. This is because the BBC news online have put up another online video news story about a deaf child… without subtitles or a transcript.

Like last time when this happened, I am quietly outraged. This is a story about deafness – apparently about hearing dogs for the deaf – and yet as a deaf adult I have no idea what points are being made. I have no way of responding and am disempowered on a matter which personally affects me. I suspect the same is true for the deaf child featured in the news story.

What makes it worse is that the Guardian have shown that it IS possible to have subtitled online video news stories. So if the BBC were pretending before that the technology isn’t available, their cover is blown.

I’m also miffed by the assurances that I received last time that the BBC news online team would work to make sure all the relevant staff were aware of this issue. Doesn’t seem to have worked. It’s not exactly rocket science anyway. If you’re doing a story about deafness, make sure deaf people can access it. Doh.

I have emailed them again to complain so we’ll see what they say. If you’re as outraged as I am, you can complain at:

PS Thanks to Tina and Smudge the hearing dog for spotting this.


4 Responses to “BBC online video news stories: that deja vu feeling…”

  1. MM said

    Of course the technology is available, they have it on SEE HEAR every week and online via iplayer too. The message simply has not got through that relevant issues of deafness require online access as a priority. There is talk carrying full titles through online makes iplayer uncompetitive and the delays defeating the point… it apprently is an cost/time/techno issue, iplayer e.g. only carries a program for 7 days… it would take a lot more than that to title what they currently air online now…

  2. And another one! This clip is from Crufts, about Hearing Dog Gem and Evie, up for Friends for Life Award. But where are the subtitles? I can’t understand a word of it.

  3. […] by Ian Noon on March 13, 2009 I’ve now had not one but two replies from the BBC about my complaint about BBC news online putting up online video stories about deaf children without subtitles or a […]

  4. […] providers of online subtitles will take note and follow suit quickly. I am particularly thinking of BBC news online and their continuing abject failure to caption stories featuring deaf children, despite assurances […]

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