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Communications Act 2003

Section 303: Code relating to provision for deaf and visually impaired

647.This section provides that OFCOM are to draw up, publish and maintain a code giving guidance as to the extent to which the services to which the section applies should promote their understanding and enjoyment by persons who are deaf or hard of hearing, persons who are blind or partially-sighted and persons with a dual sensory impairment. Subsections (4) and (5) set out obligations on the services set out at subsection (12) that must, from the fifth and tenth anniversaries respectively of the ‘relevant date’ (which is defined in section 305), be fulfilled. Subsection (4) sets out targets in respect of subtitling, and subsection (5) sets out targets in respect of subtitling, audio-description and sign language. The total of programmes from which that proportion is set shall exclude such programmes as OFCOM consider should be excluded under subsection (7) having regard to the factors set out in subsection (8). OFCOM may also set interim targets and exclude different descriptions of programmes in relation to different services. Where OFCOM are satisfied that a service is a special case they may exclude all the programmes in that service.

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