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To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport pursuant to her answer of 24 May 2004, Official Report, column 1313W, on Ofcom (Television Access), if she will take steps to ensure that Ofcom includes in the code the annual increases in subtitling, signing and audio description of television programmes promised during the passage of the Communications Act.
As we made clear during the passage of the Communications Act, we do not believe that it is necessary to specify in legislation annual targets for the increased provision of subtitling, signing and audio description. Ofcom has the power to establish interim targets, should they appear to Ofcom to be necessary to meet its duties in respect of people with disabilities. Those duties, combined with the extension of access obligations to cable and satellite channels and the 10 and five-year targets which are set out in the Act, represent a realistic way of achieving the substantial increase in access provision to which the Government are committed.