Captioned & Signed24th March 2015
Subtitles finally appearing on Amazon Prime
Amazon Prime Video is finally providing subtitles on (some of) their streaming video.
A couple of years back, thousands of people signed a petition to ask LOVEFiLM to make their video streaming service accessible to deaf and hard of hearing people. Much like most other on-demand streaming services, not a single show was provided with subtitles. Since then the brand has changed and LOVEFiLM is now part of the Amazon family and called Amazon Prime Video and for some time they've claimed to be 'working on it'.
Stephanie McDermid has been championing for better subtitles for years. Giving an update on her own petition yesterday, she said, "Over the last three months Amazon has gone from offering zero access to people with hearing loss to subtitling 40% of their content, focusing on subtitling their most popular titles. They say that they still aim to subtitle 100% of content and will continue to make progress over the coming months."
This is great news for deaf and hard of hearing people around the world who can now make use of another streaming service for instant access to TV shows and movies, but it's taken a long time to get there. It's needed petitions of more than 15,000 signatures and protestors going to Amazon's HQ in London displaying huge banners with the slogan "Lovefilm hate Deaf people".
The fight is far from over however, while Amazon is finally making themselves accessible and brining themselves in line with the duties of the Equality Act 2010, other companies are still dragging their heels and continuing to discriminate against deaf people.
"Despite having over ten million paying subscribers in UK, over 96% of Sky’s on-demand content has absolutely no subtitles (e.g. on catch up TV and box sets)," Stephanie explained. Sky has set no timeframe for improving this.
A new petition has been setup by a Deaf teenager called Jamie who’s hoping that they can show Sky how important accessible video is for the millions of people unable to access the current service. Deaf people are paying the same price as all other Sky subscribers and yet they can only watch 4% of the content that’s available to hearing viewers.
You can add your name to Jamie’s petition by heading to Change.org
Article by Karl Jenkins & Stephanie McDermid
posted in Entertainment / Captioned & Signed
24th March 2015