Under the 2003 Communications Act, television broadcasters are required to deliver a certain proportion of their programmes with subtitles, signing and audio description to ensure those with hearing and visual impairments can understand and enjoy television programmes. Ofcom has a duty to ensure that compliance of these requirements is met and consequently reports on this twice a year.
The first bi-annual report for 2013 on the provision of access services, published in September 2013, presented the cumulative position from January to June 2013. This final report for 2013 on the provision of television access services by broadcasters shows the cumulative position from January to December 2013.
2014 also marks the tenth year since Ofcom's Code on Television Access Services (subtitling, signing and audio description) came into effect. The Code, which came into force on 1 January 2005, implemented relevant provisions of the Communications Act 2003. We have therefore taken this opportunity to review the changes to the provision of access services over the last ten years.