Saving the BBC Red Button for people living with deafness

Saving the BBC Red Button for people living with deafness

The BBC Red Button Teletext Service has been temporally saved from being switched off after a petition against it's closure was handed in to the Director General of the BBC and the Prime Minister, by the British Deaf Association (BDA) and National Federation of the Blind of the UK (NFBUK).

The petition has only delayed the service from being switched off while further investigations take place in to how beneficial the service is to elderly people as well as those with sensory impairments.

Sarah Gayton, Shared Space Coordinator from NFBUK stated: "The NFBUK was extremely worried that the continuity of service would be broken, leaving many disabled and elderly people across the UK isolated and disconnected from society. We were being contacted by people who relied on this service for many reasons and we were fraught with worry what would happen to these people if the Red Button Teletext Service was switched off on 30th January 2019.

People with autism, epilepsy, house bound, deaf people, people with poor or no internet, people who do not want the internet and many people who love the simplicity of the service. It is clear that this service is a vital lifeline for people who need to consume news and information in a static form and not using a computer or a small smartphone device."

Following the announcement of the suspension to turn off the Red Button Teletext Service, Director General of the BBC, Lord Tony Hall has agreed to meet with Damian Collins MP and campaigners to discuss concerns on the issue.

NFBUK is now calling on people who use the service to continue campaigning against it's permanent closure by:

  • contacting their local MP and requesting to keep the Red Button service running, explaining how the service is vital to them
  • write to your local newspapers to share your concerns and why the service is important
  • sharing personal stories with NFBUK by emailing admin@nfbuk.org, so they can continue to collate vital evidence that could ultimately save the service in the future
  • keeping any articles you seen in your local newspaper and sending them to NFBUK, Sir John Wilson House, 215 Kirkgate, Wakefield, West Yorkshire, WF1 1JG

GDA knows of a number of people in Gloucestershire who rely on the Red Button Teletext Service and we're sure there are hundreds more who would be lost without it.

GDA continues to lend its support to the campaign and we encourage anyone living with deafness, who relies on the service to act now to ensure it's operation continues in to the future.

Read more on the subject by clicking here.