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Posts Tagged ‘Ofcom’

10 JanPositive Meeting with Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP, DCMS

 

minister

Craig Crowley, Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP, Jim Edwards

The Chair of UKCoD, Craig Crowley together with his advisor, Jim Edwards today met with the Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP for a positive meeting on VRS provision in the UK.

Purpose:
To ask the Minister to support a government wide approach to purchasing VRS and to support a further review by Ofcom of the voluntary/market model. A briefing on this was sent prior to the meeting (attached)

Discussion:
Matt Hancock whilst at Cabinet Office led on the Crown Commercial Services Framework Agreement and he was keen to see a government wide approach that, ensured universal access to services that built on and exploited developing technologies and brought some economies of scale to the purchasing arrangements. He has positive reports on the DWP Pilots and wants to see this initiative built on by all government departments. The minister acknowledged that the current model is making progress and that the understanding of costs of the service are based on outdated estimates of service cost, hence the need for a review of the market model, though he would want to be clear what would be the outcome of a review and is keen on progressing provision.

Outcome:
The Minister agreed to contact his successor at the Cabinet Office Ben Gummer about building on the DWP pilots of VRS and the Crown Commercial Services Framework agreement with  a government wide initiative to purchase VRS in a similar model to ‘contact Scotland’. He will also keep the Penny Mordaunt ( Minister for Disabled People) informed of the discussions and developments.

The Minister will talk with Ofcom about a further review of the evidence of the market developments.

Follow up letter to the Minister to be drafted.

[End]

 

19 OctDigital Economy Bill

Various topics of interest to CFC members were discussed including switching, broadband USO, nuisance calls, data protection/data sharing, regulation of the BBC and auto-compensation. Tony Close, Ofcom’s Director of Content Standards, Licensing and Enforcement, said in his evidence that Ofcom supported the Action on Hearing Loss amendment about access services on video on-demand (column 108).

Image result for paul breckellPaul Breckell, Action on Hearing Loss Chief Executive, says: ‘We are pleased that Ofcom would welcome an amendment to the Digital Economy Bill that would ensure access services – subtitles, audio-description and BSL – are included for TV watched on-demand.‘Unlike traditional TV, there is currently no requirement for TV providers to include access services in their on-demand content. As a result, many services remain inaccessible to people with sensory loss, with over three-quarters of TV on-demand providers still not offering subtitles, despite a year on year growth in audience figures..

‘Legislation in this area is what we have been calling for through our Subtitle it! campaign for some time and Ofcom as the regulator is best placed to ensure equal access for all.’

17 JunSurvey on how you use the telephone

UKCoD through its subgroup DAC (Deaf Access to Communications) and alongside its member organizations is carrying out a survey to assess how deaf people are using the telephone.  In particular we are interested in how deaf consumers are getting on with the Next Generation Text Relay service which was launched in October 2014 or if not, what help or alternatives could be considered.

The survey originated from NADP (the National Association of Deafened People) whose membership is a subgroup of the deaf population and it has therefore been expanded to include all types of deafness, with input from Sense, NDCS, Action on Hearing Loss, Hearing Link along with Ofcom and BT.

The survey is only available online using the link  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/usingthephone

We really need as many deaf people as possible to complete the survey to help provide evidence of whether or not further improvements need to be made to telecommunication services for deaf people, how successful NGTS has been and if there are any particular areas of the deaf population which are or are not making use of these services. Please spread the word.

Unfortunately we do not have the resources to provide paper copies of the survey. However if you do know deaf people who are not online but do use the telephone or would if the appropriate service was available then please feel free to complete the survey on their behalf either directly or offering a print out of the survey for them to complete.

The deadline for completing the survey is 30 June 2016.

Thank you in anticipation of your help.

11 MayNGTS – word of thanks

Great to receive thanks from Brendan Casey yesterday on the Deaf Next Generation Text Service Group Facebook page……..

“Would like to say a special big thank you to Ofcom and BT and http://www.deafcouncil.org.uk/ and Natalya Dell and Mike Aston and Helen Oxlade and Donna Lordan and many others and of course the community members who fought for BSL videos to be displayed professionally via online petitions on Ngts website big thank you and of course the company behind the professional bsl video service who provided the videos”.

 

27 NovOfcom publishes final report on live subtitling

Ofcom has published its fourth and final report on the quality of live subtitling. Although there appear to have been improvements in accuracy, latency and speed, some issues still need to be addressed.

The report suggests trade-offs need to be struck when producing live subtitles, such as between speed and accuracy. Ofcom therefore intends to ask subtitle users with different levels of hearing loss, different ages and different educational attainments about their preferences. Ofcom expects to publish the outcome of the research in early 2016 then discuss it with stakeholders.