The Question: Should Sign Language Videos Have English Subtitles for the ‘Signing Impaired?’

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Most deaf people agree that subtitles need to improve, but there is one subtitling issue that is not so black and white.

It’s whether BSL videos ought to be subtitled for people who don’t understand sign language.

Or in other words, should there be subtitles for the, ahem, ‘signing impaired?’

The digital revolution means deaf associations across the land can produce the equivalent of the local TV news for deaf people.

The Gloucester Deaf Association is the epitome of this idea with their excellent BSL news videos. Good local BSL news, broadcast across the internet every month. BSL videos are also a hit on Facebook at the moment with hundreds of people expressing their frustrations and hopes in BSL on the ‘Spit the Dummy’ Facebook group.

Could BSL content be seen as being a bit exclusive though? Aren’t deaf associations the ones who campaign about problems with TV subtitles? What about the ‘signing impaired?’ ‘Hypocrisy’ say some. ‘See how you like it’ say others.

Read the rest of the article here.

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