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Digital UK aims to help viewers with disabilities access DTT services (Digital Terrestrial Television - commonly known as Freeview) using features such as audio description and subtitles. 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.
To download Digital UK's accessibility statement click here
To see Digital UK’s website accessibility policy click here
There are a number of ways viewers with disabilities can get access to channel listings:
- View and download our large print channel guide
- Call our advice line on 03456 50 50 50 and listen to our 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 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 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 123 999.
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 and the service is constantly increasing. 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.
The number of programmes available with signing is much less than subtitling. Where signing is provided in a programme, the broadcaster can display 'SL' in the programme synopsis which signals to viewers that the programme will be signed.
You can find out more about signing by visiting the Action for Hearing Loss website www.actiononhearingloss.org.uk.
Many Freeview TV's, set-top boxes or recorders (including all Freeview HD products) have been developed to offer greater access to viewers with hearing or visual impairments.
There is a range of digital television equipment which has 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 TV's and boxes.
If you have a hearing impairment, using a loop system with a tv means that if you are watching a programme with a hearing person you can set the volume to a level that is comfortable for them and also make the sound louder for you by altering the volume on your hearing aid or loop listener. You can also adjust the volume and tone on most loop amplifiers
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.