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Broadcasting (Deaf People)

Volume 164: debated on Friday 12 January 1990

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9.36 am

I beg to present my first petition since being elected a Member of this House, on behalf of Mr. Hampton, of Freshwater, who is the Isle of Wight's project director for the deaf. The petition is signed by 186 of my constituents.

There is no fate worse than death for a politician other than that of knowing that he cannot be heard. The petition asks the Government to include in the Broadcasting Bill proper provision for the deaf in television broadcasts. It must be possible with today's technology to make available a special channel carrying teletext subtitles, to help increase the viewing pleasure of the deaf. The petition reads:
"Wherefore your petitioners pray that your House will ensure 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."
To lie upon the Table.