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Digital UK aims to help viewers with disabilities access Freeview TV services’ using features such as audio description and subtitles. We work closely with manufacturers, charities and other organisations to stay abreast of developments in this area and welcome any feedback from viewers.
To download Digital UK's accessibility statement click here
To see Digital UK’s website accessibility policy click here
- Call our advice line on 03456 50 50 50 and listen to our talking channel list
- Viewers with hearing or speech impediment can contact an adviser through our Textphone service – 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 soaps and sitcoms like Eastenders, Coronation Street and Friends 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). To find equipment with audio description, contact your local electrical retailer or visit the RNIB website or call the RNIB on 0303 123 9999.
For more general information on Audio description visit www.audiodescription.org.uk or call the Audio description helpline on either 08456 01 01 81 or 0161 234 9063.
Subtitles are the text version of onscreen dialogue, usually displayed at the bottom of the screen to help viewers who are hard of hearing to read the dialogue that is being spoken. Most programmes are now subtitled on Freeview and the service is constantly increasing.
You can now get subtitles with most Freeview equipment, and they can be accessed in one of two ways:
Find out more about what to look for in subtitling on products from Ricability which has information on how different makes and models of digital TVs and boxes display subtitles.
All signing on television involves a visible signer translating for a particular programme – this is known as open signing. The signer usually appears 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. However, you can find out more about signing by visiting the Action for Hearing Loss website at www.actiononhearingloss.org.uk.
There are a number digital television devices or systems in the market that have been developed to offer greater access to digital TV viewers with hearing or visual impairments.
Many Freeivew TVs, boxes or recorders including all Freeview HD products have access to the features discussed above such as subtitling, signing and audio description.
There is a range of digital television equipment which have 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.
There are a number of devices currently available which provide text to speech support. To find out more, visit the RNIB website at: www.rnib.org.uk/livingwithsightloss/tvradiofilm/television/Pages/accessible_tv.aspx
You can also find out more via the Action on Hearing Loss website at: http://www.actiononhearingloss.org.uk/
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. They can be used with most digital TV's and boxes.
If you have a hearing impairment, using a loop system with a television means that if you are with a hearing person you can set the volume to a level that is comfortable for them. You can make the sound louder for you by adjusting the volume on your hearing aid or loop listener. You can also adjust the volume and tone on most loop amplifiers.
For more information on induction loop systems you can contact the Royal National Institute for the Deaf (RNID) 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.