BAI Access Rules 2012

The BAI Access Rules determine the levels of subtitling, sign language and audio description that broadcasters in Ireland will be required to provide in accordance with their statutory obligations.

The Broadcasting Act 2009 requires the BAI to draw up rules which will require broadcasters to take steps to promote the understanding and enjoyment of programmes by people who are deaf, hard of hearing or blind or visually impaired. It allows for the rules to specify a percentage of programmes broadcast that must be accessible.

The Rules

Download BAI Access Rules (pdf)

Download BAI Access Rules (Word)

Download  BAI Access Rules (html)

Watch an Irish Sign Language video version of the Rules

Request a copy of the Rules in Braille by emailing


The Rules shall apply to certain broadcasters within the jurisdiction of the Republic of Ireland. It shall not apply to other services commonly received in this State but licensed in the United Kingdom or other jurisdictions.


Any viewer or listener should, in the first instance, refer a complaint directly to the relevant broadcaster if they are dissatisfied with the manner in which a broadcaster is complying with these Rules.

Further information on the complaints process is available here or by calling the BAI on 01 6441200.

Guidance Notes

The BAI has published guidelines to assist broadcasters and users.


Download the BAI Guidelines on Audio Description (pdf)

Download the BAI Guidelines on Audio Description (Word)

Download the BAI Guidelines on Irish Sign Language (pdf)

Download the BAI Guidelines on Irish Sign Language (Word)

Download the BAI Guidelines on Subtitling (pdf)

Download the BAI Guidelines on Subtitling (Word)

The development of the Rules

The Access Rules were launched in May 2012. The Rules were developed following consultation with various interest groups and broadcasters. A Statement of Outcomes from the consultation process is available here. The Rules came into effect on the 14th May 2012. The current Rules replaced the existing BCI Access Rules which had been in place since 2005.

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