Welcome to the
Deaf Broadcasting Council


A consumer organisation representing deaf, deafened and hard of hearing television viewers

DBC was founded in 1980 as the Deaf Broadcasting Campaign. It changed its name to Deaf Broadcasting Council and became a registered charity in 1986 to reflect the change of role and status of the organisation.

What Does DBC Do?
Monitors access to television, video and DVD. It is essential that the full range of visual broadcasting programmes is accessible through subtitling and/or sign language. Viewers inform the DBC of the quality and reception of subtitled and/or signed programmes. The DBC then sends the information to the relevant broadcasters. Makes Broadcasters aware of the needs of deaf people. Poor sound quality and intrusive background noise make it difficult for hard of hearing people to hear or understand what is being said. We make sure broadcasters are aware of this problem. Requests cable and satellite broadcasters to provide access to their channels. Encourages video and DVD companies to add captions to their programmes. Ensures that equipment enables deaf people to have access to television and video and is "deaf friendly". Responds to Government and industry discussion papers on behalf of deaf viewers.

Why Do We Need Better Access?
One in seven people in the UK is deaf. "Deaf" covers the full range of deafness from hard of hearing to profoundly deaf and deafened people. Television plays an important part in people's lives. Access through subtitles and/or sign language means that deaf people can be informed, educated and entertained. The merging technologies of the television and the telephone should further improve the quality of life for deaf people.

What Has DBC Achieved?
Through intensive lobbying by the DBC, the 1990 Broadcasting Act required ITV to increase its annual subtitling output. Working with other organisations, ensured that the 1996 Broadcasting Act made mandatory requirements for subtitling and sign language access to digital terrestrial broadcasting. Good working relationships with most broadcasters and regulators.

Looking Towards The Future
Increasing Employment Opportunities - We want to see more opportunities for deaf people to work in broadcasting because there is no reason why they should be excluded.
Representation and Participation - Deaf people should be represented in a positive way in all programmes and given the opportunity to participate in chat shows, quiz games and competitions.

Television plays an important part in people's lives. Access through subtitles and sign language means deaf people can be informed, educated and entertained.

Please contact Penny Bechizza at pennybes@aol.com