Love film but hate lack of online access for deaf people?

I got an email the other day at work about Lovefilm and the lack of subtitles for deaf people who sign up to their online film streaming service. A father of a deaf daughter was angry that she wasn’t able to watch any films online with subtitles. It quickly became apparent via Twitter that this wasn’t an isolated issue and that loads of other similar companies are equally poor. Another example of access failing to keep pace with technology and incredibly frustrating.

I would say that Lovefilm and other companies that fail to provide full access to deaf people are acting unlawfully under the Equality Act 2010. Their defence? Lovefilm would probably use the get-out clause that it would be an “unreasonable burden” on them to provide access. Ultimately, someone would have to take Lovefilm to court so that a judge could decide who was right.

In the meantime, there are a few things that can be done to make a fuss about this.

1) Complain. If your beef is with Lovefilm, you can contact them via their website. You could ask them to justify why they don’t provide access and whether they think they are acting lawfully under the Equality Act 2010. Other companies should have a “contact us” page on their website tucked away somewhere. If lots of people complain, this will start to get noticed internally.

2) You could also raise with the Equality and Human Rights Commission – who can look into companies that are not complying with the Equality Act.

3) Ofcom are responsible for regulating telecommunication companies and setting access requirements. For example, they require mainstream TV companies to provide a certain level of access according to their size. Currently, they don’t (I think) regulate online TV or media access. But you should certainly feel free to tell them you think they should.

4) Finally, tell the Government to sort it. The relevant Ministry is the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. A new Communications Bill is expected soon-ish and this offers an opportunity to get the law changed on things like online access, if enough people say it’s needed.

Be really interested to hear any other nightmare stories or how others have got on when making complaints like this. Or of any solutions that people have stumbled across.

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “Love film but hate lack of online access for deaf people?

  1. I’ve been trying to email them about how it not fair about the subtitles, however it would not let me sent it to them as I’m not acount with them because I cancel with them, I got really fed up with it as I’m deaf and lots of my friend watch movies on lovefilm and talk about it it like as if I’m not there….right now I’m living with lots hearing person who had got acount with lovefilm and they always watch movies I just sit there not knowing what they saying….even tho I with netflix but it don’t have many film that is like lovefilm as they got more choose and more movies than netflix, I just don’t understand why lovefilm would not do the opption for subitltes like netflx would, if netfilx can do it why can’t lovefilm??? …..lots deaf ppl only asking for one thing which is subtiltes and that not much to ask it is =\….it just show that lovefilm just don’t care or respect how deaf person feel.

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s