Captioning Awareness Week
7 November 2021
Reporter: Sandra Giorgetti
The surge of online work which resulted from the pandemic-related closure of theatres has been a lifeline for many audience members as well as creatives, but the lack of subtitles remains an obstacle for deaf, deafened and hard of hearing people.
The Royal National Institute for Deaf People found that 87% of people with hearing loss have attempted to watch a programme on-demand and found it had no subtitles.
The work of charity Stagetext’s annual campaign for Captioning Awareness Week continues to raise the important issue of access to performance for the 18% of UK adults are deaf, deafened or hard of hearing, of whom less than 1% are fluent in British Sign Language.
That means 11 million people are reliant on captioned performances in order to enjoy the same access to the arts as others.
Captioning Awareness Week, now in its seventh year, runs from 15 to 21 November. It will see theatres, museums and galleries offering captioned and live subtitled events and a free-to-attend exhibition at London's Barbican marking the 21st anniversary of the first ever captioned theatre performance in the UK.