David Blunkett slams broadcasters over subtitles

This week, MP David Blunkett has criticised broadcasters for their ‘frustrating’ subtitles, which can often be confusing for the deaf. He also went on to say that broadcasters were failing those with visual impairments by not dubbing foreign TV shows into English.

Blunkett was born blind, and he said “In an ageing population, people with hearing and sight impairments are becoming part of the mainstream”. He argued that while many viewers do not enjoy dubbed content, it was unfair to exclude such a large portion of audiences. He also raised the issue of mis-typed content in subtitles that can often lead to confusing errors.

Other means of accessibility include audio description and voiceover translations. Blunkett has said that there should be more time and money invested in these technologies to reduce the exclusion felt by those with sensory impairment.

In a strong statement he said: “It is the trendy, the metropolitan and, yes, the under-40s who determine what we view and what we listen to. But much of the spending power reflects an older age group.”

Do you have problems with understanding subtitles or audio descriptions on television? Get in touch – we’d love to hear about your experiences.