Live streamed interview 7: 25th March 2019

Fifi Garfield interviews Dr Terry Riley OBE and Louis Neethling.

Live streamed programme.  Produced by BSLBT and originally streamed via Facebook Live. In this BSLBT 10th anniversary special, Fifi Garfield talks to Dr Terry Riley OBE, who was instrumental in the early days of BSLBT, and director Louis Neethling, who worked on the Wicked Pilot, the first BSL Zone programme to be transmitted, back in 2009. They look back at the challenges that have been faced in BSL programme making over the years, and at how far we have come.

Read an English transcript of the interview here.

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  • Fascinating interview. So much of interest. Congratulations. 
    But in the interests of accuracy and understanding the political processes by which these things happen, I think there should be a proper account of how BSLBT was set up. It was not simply a matter of the DBC, the BDA and others lobbying Ofcom, Sky doing some research and some broadcasters agreeing to chip in to a pool of money.
    Lobbying by the DBC, the BDA and others did help to achieve the legal requirements for BSL access (not necessarily original programmes) in the 1996 Broadcasting Act and later legislation. In 1998 I did advise the Chair of the BDA that they would be better going for a pooled-money system, because all the broadcasters would do was interpret hearing programmes.
    From the year 2000, this was what happened. By 2005 it was realised this fell far short of meeting Deaf BSL users' needs. Sky then funded some research through Deafworks, published as a report 'All About Access to Television Through Signing'. Sky then organised a conference with the Community Channel in 2006 to discuss the findings. 
    As a result of that conference, a working group pf broadcasters, Deaf organisation representatives and Deaf film and video makers was set up, which I chaired. 
    The working group met several times with Ofcom and in the end made recommendations which led to the setting up of BSLBT to commission programmes in BSL. But without the requirement - in legislation - to provide BSL in some form or other, the brodcasters would never have done this.
    I have a complete set of records of the working group discussions and how it evolved its proposals, if these are of any use.
    I think it is important for the Deaf community and its organisations to realise the kind of organisation and processes through which future progress needs to be made.
    Sorry this is such a long comment, though it is still much too short to give a full understanding.
    Congratulations again to BSLBT. Long may you thrive - and grow!
    Posted on
    190401
  • Happy anniversary to BSL Zone for 10 years. Excellent interview!
    Posted on
    190401

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