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Digital UK aims to help viewers with disabilities access services on DTT (Digital Terrestrial Television - commonly known as Freeview). We work closely with manufacturers, charities and other organisations to stay up to date with developments in this area and, of course, welcome any feedback from viewers. A downloadable version of this web page is also available here.
For Digital UK's website accessibility page click here
To download Digital UK's accessibility statement click here
If you have any questions regarding accessibility on DTT, please contact us
There are a number of ways viewers with disabilities can access channel listings:
- View and download our large print channel guide
- Call the Freeview advice line on 03456 50 50 50 (option 1, then option 2) to listen to a talking channel list
- Viewers with hearing difficulties or with a speech impediment can contact an adviser through our
Textphone service on 0330 332 0975
There are a range of services available which can improve your Freeview viewing including audio description, subtitles and signing.
Audio Description is a free service that can improve the enjoyment of TV for people with sight problems by adding additional commentary describing body language, expressions and movements.
Many popular programmes such as Eastenders, Coronation Street and Doctor Who are audio described, not to mention many other dramas, documentaries, cookery shows, travel programmes, children’s programmes and films.
A comprehensive schedule of programmes with audio description can be found on the TV Help website www.tvhelp.org.uk/audes/schedule.php.
Many Freeview products have audio description (including all Freeview HD equipment). The RNIB have produced a useful fact sheet with information on products that offer access to audio description programming.
For further information, you can also contact the RNIB on 0303 123 9999.
Subtitles allow viewers with hearing difficulties to read the dialogue that is being spoken and this text is usually displayed at the bottom of the screen.
Most programmes are now subtitled on Freeview. When a programme is subtitled, the broadcaster can display an 'S' in the programme synopsis which signals to viewers that this facility is available.
All Freeview products enable viewers to access subtitles and these can be accessed in one of two ways:
Action On Hearing Loss have produced a helpful fact sheet with further information on subtitling.
All signing on television involves a visible signer translating for a particular programme – this is known as open signing. The signer will usually appear in the bottom corner of the screen, with the programme being broadcast full size or positioned away from that corner in a slightly smaller size.
There are fewer programmes available with signing than with subtitling. Where signing is provided, the broadcaster can display 'SL' in the programme synopsis signalling this to the viewer.
You can find out more about signing by visiting the Action for Hearing Loss website www.actiononhearingloss.org.uk.
Many Freeview TVs, set-top boxes and recorders (including all Freeview HD products) have been developed to offer greater access to viewers with hearing or visual impairments.
Some digital television products include a talking feature (known as voice guidance). This helps guide visually impaired users on what is happening as they navigate television services with the remote control.
To find out more on these devices, visit the RNIB website: www.rnib.org.uk/how-do-blind-people-watch-tv
Induction loop systems are designed so that you can hear sounds more clearly because they reduce or cut out background noise. At home, you could use a loop to hear sound from your television and they can be used with most digital TVs and boxes.
Viewers using a loop can adjust the volume of this independently, allowing others in the room to continue listening at a comfortable level.
Find out how to connect an induction loop system to your TV.
Action On Hearing Loss have also produced a fact sheet on induction loops that you may find useful.
For any further information on induction loop systems please contact Action On Hearing Loss on:
Telephone: 0808 808 0123 or Textphone: 0808 808 9000.
Still can't find what you're looking for? Call the Freeview advice line:
03456 50 50 50
Mon - Fri 9am - 6pm, Sat 9am - 5pm, Sun closed
Our contact centre can be accessed using the minicom service on 0330 332 0975.Email us