One way to stop failing disabled people

Two actors in character have handcuffed themselves to a bus

An “Access Coordinator” is a relatively new role in the world of British television. But it is one that disabled-led organisations, such as TripleC and DDPTV (Deaf and Disabled People in TV), have wanted to see brought in for several years.

Jack Thorne helped to shine a light with his blistering 2021 Edinburgh MacTaggart lecture. His stark message was that TV had “failed disabled people utterly and totally”.

Why the small things matter: Adjusting TV for accessibility

One of my first TV shows was about endangered animals around the world,” recalls presenter Ade Adepitan. “When I met with the producer and director, they told me: ‘This show is going to involve scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef, trekking through the jungle in South Africa and Namibia, and hiking up mountains in Romania. We don’t want you to feel under any pressure, but is this something you think you can do?’ I said: ‘When do we start?’ I’m the sort of person who takes things on and then finds the solution as we go along.

Channel 4 makes subtitles available on Freeview, Sky, Virgin Media and Digital Platforms

The broadcaster will gradually increase the number of shows with subtitles, with The Great British Bake Off, The Last Leg and Gogglebox, as well as live television including Channel 4 News and F1 racing, being some of the first.

The announcement comes after the channels and on-demand services were affected on Saturday 25 September 2021, when the fire suppression system was triggered at Red Bee Media, the company that broadcasts them.