HomeInsightsOfcom publishes further recommendations on how to make on-demand services accessible to people with hearing and sight impairments


On-demand services are increasingly popular, but they often do not provide features such as subtitles, audio description and signing, known as “access services”. In its initial recommendations to the UK Government, Ofcom suggested new accessibility rules for on-demand services to bring them in line with those for broadcast television: subtitling on 80% of their programmes, audio description on 10% and signing on 5% within four years of the rules coming in.

As requested by the Government, this report makes further suggestions on how Ofcom’s proposed rules would work in practice, following a second public consultation. The report:

  • sets out further detail on how the proposed new requirements could be implemented;
  • provides further clarity on the signing requirements; and
  • recommends that providers should be obliged to tell people which of their services are accessible, and on which platforms.

The report also includes more detailed suggestions on the circumstances which would exempt providers from meeting any new requirements or allow them to meet them partially, for example, due to affordability, low audience share or technical difficulties.

Separately, Ofcom has also published a list of ninety television channels which are required to provide access services in 2022. To access the report, click here. To access the list, click here.