Reminder: Access Rules Consultation closes on 24th January

The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) has today (4th January 2012) issued a reminder that there is less than three weeks left to engage with the public consultation on proposed new rules to govern the level of subtitling, sign language and audio description that Irish television broadcasters must offer to the public. The new rules will update the current Access Rules in place since 2005.

The proposals are aimed at making television more enjoyable and accessible for people who are deaf, hard-of-hearing, partially sighted or blind.  The new rules have been developed taking into account a review of the existing rules and changes in broadcasting schedules and technology.

The proposed access rules also look at issues such as the inclusion of sign language in children’s programming; use of captions; audio description; the impact of Digital TV on access services; ongoing consultation between broadcasters and users on access; and the monitoring of compliance with the new rules.

For the purpose of the public consultation, a range of facilities have been developed to enable people who are deaf, hard of hearing, partially sighted or blind to offer their feedback. A consultation document that outlines the scope and context of the proposed rules has been developed and is available in a range of formats from the BAI.  Interpretation facilities are available for people wishing to ask questions, and submissions can be made through a designated text message number; lo-call number; or by post and email.

The deadline for submitting responses is 5pm on 24th January 2012.