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Deaf Television Viewers

Volume 163: debated on Monday 4 December 1989

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11.44 pm

I have a petition from 958 constituents and others living in Greater London, who say that the broadcasters are not providing complete access for deaf television viewers, for example, with subtitles or sign language. At least 4 million deaf viewers are affected, and they say that, as equal members of the general public, they are entitled to equal access to television programmes. In their prayer they ask

that legislation be passed placing an obligation on television channel operators to make their programmes more accessible to deaf people by using Teletext subtitles, sign language or other means and to reach complete coverage by a fixed date.
I have the honour to be the president of the Harrow deaf club, and I, along with my hon. Friend the Member for Harrow, East (Mr. Dykes), know that its work helps deaf people to feel less lonely and isolated. Accessible television for the millions of deaf people will make an enormous difference to them.

To lie upon the Table.