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S4C launches Audio Description awareness campaign

11/02/2008

S4C has launched a major new on-screen campaign to promote its growing Audio Description Service for blind and partially-sighted people.

The Channel’s Audio Description Service provides additional voice-over narration in Welsh which describes on-screen action, body language and facial expressions between programme dialogue.

Audio Description - or Sain Ddisgrifio as it’s called in Welsh – is specifically produced for each individual programme and allows people who have difficulties seeing the TV to hear what they can’t see.

Mostly available on drama programmes, the service is currently offered on 10% of programming on S4C’s digitial service, S4C digidol, in line with the recommendations of Ofcom, the industry regulator.

S4C’s campaign coincides with Ofcom’s current Audio Description awareness campaign, which was launched after research showed that fewer than 40% of the general population and 37% of the visually impaired community knew about Audio Description.

Emlyn Penny Jones, S4C’s Head of Content Services, said, ‘’S4C passionately supports Ofcom’s Audio Description awareness campaign and is actively promoting this very important service. We want to increase awareness and encourage greater use of the service, which we know is appreciated by those who use it. There’s no doubt that it enhances the enjoyment of people who have difficulty seeing what’s happening on the screen.’’

Audio Description is currently available on dramas Teulu, Rownd a Rownd and Caerdydd, popular countryside programme Cefn Gwlad and children’s series Retro. It will be available on the new series of Caerdydd and Y Pris and Tipyn o Stad, scheduled for broadcast in the autumn.

The service can be accessed on S4C digidol, which is available in Wales on Sky 104, Virgin Media 194 and Freeview 4, and in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland on Sky 134.

For further information about Audio Description, please go to S4C’s website, www.s4c.co.uk. The free S4C booklet Push the Button/Pwyso’r Botwm also explains how to access Audio Description. Viewers can order a copy by contacting the S4C Viewers’ Hotline on 0870 6004141 or emailing the team at gwifren@s4c.co.uk

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