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Television Audio Description

Volume 447: debated on Monday 12 June 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what steps her Department is taking to increase availability of access to television audio description among blind and partially-sighted people; and if she will increase the television audio description targets to 20 per cent. (75426)

The Government are committed to extending access to broadcasting services for those who are blind and partially-sighted. In relation to digital switchover, special provision will be made to help registered blind viewers to receive audio description services. My Department is currently considering with the RNIB how we might provide help for households where one person is partially-sighted.

The Department has no plans to increase audio description targets at present. However, we shall want to take account of the results of Ofcom’s current review of its statutory code on Television Access Services, in which it has proposed that it would be better to review the statutory target for audio description when it is clearer how many potential beneficiaries will use it.