Channel 4 seeks viewer feedback about its accessibility services

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Tuesday, 28 June 2016 09:48am

Channel 4 has created a survey to capture as much feedback as possible from people who view their programming with captions (subtitles in the UK), audio description, signing on TV, or on the station’s on-demand service.

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The channel has publically declared that they wish for their services to become accessible to include users who have a disability and put together a viewer survey. They issued a statement to confirm their intent, “Channel 4 is committed to accessibility and making our content accessible to the widest possible audience, regardless of disability, capability or technology.”

Television channels in the UK continue to deliver access at much higher levels than the regulated quotas. All channels are covered by the country’s access requirements, with any exemptions generally due to very low levels of audience share and viewership.

“Channel 4 as a channel has been very proactive with audio description,” says Chris Mikul, former Project Manager and captioning expert at Media Access Australia. “Their statutory requirement is to provide this service on 10% of all programs, but several years ago, along with Sky Television, they voluntarily agreed to increase this up to 20%.”

Although the UK television market has made vast improvements with captions and audio description, the UK government is lagging behind with video-on-demand service and accessibility.

Australia has yet to catch up with television and accessibility.In Australia, captions are currently only mandatory on primary free-to-air channels from 6 am to midnight, while the only programs required to be captioned on the multi-channels (such as 7Two, Gem, One and ABC2) are repeats which were originally captioned on a primary channel.  There is no regular service on the television for audio description, despite global digital on-demand television companies such as Netflix leading the way with audio-description.

Watch a signed and audio described video about Channel 4’s commitment to accessibility

Learn more and provide feedback here regarding Channel 4’s accessibility

Listen to an interview with Chris Mikul from June 2016

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