The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) in Northern Ireland is urging blind viewers to take advantage of half-price concession in their TV Licence.
The charity say people who are blind (severely sight impaired), or live with someone who is, should make sure they aren’t missing out on a concessionary TV Licence.
There are 1189 blind licences in force in the Province.
Increasing numbers of BBC shows are provided with Audio Description (AD), with over 20% of BBC output now audio-described – above the target of 10% set for broadcasters by Ofcom.
The service on digital TV, which allows you to hear a verbal description of what is happening on screen in between the dialogue, makes programmes more accessible to people with sight loss.
Audio-described programmes are available across a range of genres.
As well as those who are blind (severely sight impaired), live-in carers or family members could also benefit from the concession and enjoy AD programming themselves.
A blind concession TV Licence costs £72.75 for colour and £24.50 for a black and white TV Licence.
Jonathan King, spokesperson for TV Licensing said: “If you live with someone who is blind, they are entitled to a concessionary TV Licence, which is half the price of a full fee licence. This will cover you, as well as anyone else living in your household. There is a range of ways to pay - online with a debit or card, monthly or quarterly direct debit, over-the-counter and by phone or post.”
David Galloway, Director of RNIB Northern Ireland said: “TV continues to be a popular form of entertainment for many blind and partially sighted people, thanks in part to new technologies such as audio description and the increasing range of assistive software for tablets and laptops making it easier than ever to enjoy programmes at the touch of a button. We would encourage those who are severely sight impaired to take advantage of the 50 per cent reduction in the cost of their TV Licence if they haven’t already done so.”
Those who use a digital box used to produce sound only, do not require a TV Licence provided it cannot display TV programmes. Anyone who does not watch or record live TV on any device can let TV Licensing know by completing an online declaration at tvlicensing.co.uk/nln.
Anyone affected by sight loss can get TV Licensing information by email or in Braille, large print or audio by calling 0300 555 0300. An audio podcast about the concession is available online at audioboo.com/tvlicensing.