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A new hope? Experiences of accessibility of services in deaf and hard-of-hearing audiences post-digital television switchover

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One promise of the switchover from analogue to digital television was new accessibility solutions. In the case of deaf and hard-of-hearing audiences who rely on subtitling for comprehension, the digital switchover makes it possible for greater provision of subtitling or improvements in accuracy. Utilizing quantitative data from a questionnaire completed by 339 participants with varying degrees of hearing difficulty in Wales, this article assesses perceptions of subtitling pre- and postdigital switch. A within-group comparison across age groups is also used to assess whether improvements in service are age defined. The results found that difficulties in accessing quality subtitling are still experienced by this audience post-digital switchover and that there are no significant differences in age in experiencing these difficulties. Knowledge of other digital services is subject to a significant difference in age, which indicates more work is required to inform older audience members of the affordances of digital television.

Keywords: Wales; affordances; barriers; deaf and hard-ofhearing audiences; digital television; interactive services; subtitling

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Maynooth University 2: Swansea University

Publication date: September 1, 2015

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  • The International Journal of Digital Television will describe and explain the transition to digital TV and wider trends in television. As switchover happens across the globe and television's operations and audiences are transformed, the International Journal of Digital Television will be at the forefront of efforts to understand the changes and developments.
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