A user-centred study of the norms for subtitling for the deaf and hard-of-hearing on French television
Year of publication
Subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing (SDH) have been present on French television since the late seventies. However, it was not until nearly thirty years after they first appeared that the practice was made mandatory on the main channels. In February 2005, the French government passed a law on equal rights and opportunities for disabled people which required all state-owned and private channels with a minimum annual audience share of 2.5% to use adapted subtitles in order to make 100% of their programming accessible to the deaf and hard-of-hearing by 12 February 2010. Following increasing complaints that regulations of this kind promoted a rapid increase in the quantity of SDH to the detriment of quality, the government produced a reference document about minimum SDH requirements. This document was signed by major SDH stakeholders and put into practice on 12 December 2011. Although this discipline is now recognised by the government, research into subtitling for the deaf and hard-of-hearing in France is still very scarce.