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Video on Demand: Disability

Question for Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

UIN 5502, tabled on 20 January 2020

To ask the Minister of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what plans he has to bring forward regulations under section 93 of the Digital Economy Act 2017 to impose requirements on providers of on-demand programme services for the purpose of ensuring that their services are accessible to people with disabilities affecting their sight or hearing or both.

Answered on

28 January 2020

As part of a digitally inclusive society, television content should be accessible for all UK audiences. This is why, as part of the implementation process of the Digital Economy Act 2017, the Government asked Ofcom to provide recommendations on how legislation could make on demand services more accessible. Ofcom published its report in December 2018 and since then my Department has been working with Ofcom to develop the legislative framework for future requirements.

It is important to ensure that any legislation introduced is proportionate while making more content accessible to consumers. As a result, in November 2019 my officials wrote to Ofcom requesting that they complete a further targeted consultation to provide recommendations on specific aspects of the scheme.

Ofcom are now developing this second consultation which they intend to publish in early 2020 and will report back to DCMS later this year. After we have reviewed Ofcom’s recommendations, we will then set out next steps.