Back in December, I conducted a little experiment on BBC online and found that most video stories featuring deaf people were not accessible. Transcript? Nada. Subtitles? Nada. I fired off a complaint, and finally got a reply the other day from the Head of the BBC newsroom, no less.
It was contrite and apologetic. The examples I pointed out were of “great concern” and staff have been reminded about the need to provide subtitles and/or transcripts with all news video and audio material that might be of interest to deaf audiences.
Apparently, the problem still largely lies with BBC regional teams. So the overall editors of the news website are going to be working closely with the regional teams to ensure they are more consistent.
It was good to have this engagement with the BBC, and at such a high level. However, we have been here before, as they noted. I’m going to keep checking the BBC online website from time to time to make they finally get on top of the problem. If you come across any examples of video news stories about deafness not being accessible, please drop us a line.