Ensure that information is available to users who are deaf or hard of hearing


People who are deaf or hard of hearing need an equivalent way of receiving or accessing any information that is available in an auditory form.

Viewers may need to know some information about a programme before watching, such as the suitability of the content for young children. This information needs to be provided in a non-audible form for deaf or hard of hearing viewers. They will need the information either before the programme starts or, if they switch to a programme that has already started, immediately as they start watching.

Directions and techniques

Accompany audible information with visual equivalents (high priority)

Any information presented through audio, such as warning tones or feedback beeps, should also be presented visually.

Use a visible indicator to identify specific types of programmes

When a new programme begins or the user changes channel, standard visual warnings should be displayed in the following cases:

  • The programme includes subtitles
  • The programme has a classification regarding suitability for children (if this information is available with the programme)

As an example of how parental warning codes can be delivered, Spanish law establishes uniform criteria for classification and signalling, with programmes assigned to one of six categories, each having a corresponding visual symbol which must be displayed for at least five seconds:

Specially recommended for children (optional)


Recommended for all ages

No symbol

Not recommended for children under 7 years old


Not recommended for children under 13 years old


Not recommended for children under 18 years old


Rated X


How you could test for this

If visual indicators have been included within the interface, it is important to find out whether they are effective. Tests by users with hearing loss should be carried out to assess whether the signals are noticeable and whether their meanings are recognisable and memorable.