ITVX has announced the launch of a worldwide streaming-first British Sign Language (BSL) channel.
Omnibus episodes of soaps Emmerdale and Coronation Street will be among ITV Signed’s offerings, as well as Cilla and Alan Carr’s Epic Gameshow.
Viewers will also be able to tune into dramas Vera and Lewis on the channel, which will solely feature signed programming.
The new channel will roll out on the streamer on Thursday (December 8), in a move the Triggerpoint broadcaster’s director of accessibility David Padmore has labelled ‘signifcant progress.’
The executive continued: ‘We’re committed to placing great accessibility at the heart of ITVX and our offering at launch represents significant progress on ITV Hub.
‘Our ITV Signed Channel gives us a fantastic platform for showcasing our rich archive of signed programmes.’
Meanwhile, Teri Devine, associate director for inclusion at RNID, praised to new service for considering the ‘accessibility of BSL users.’
They added: ‘Following the recognition of the British Sign Language (BSL) Act earlier this year, it is fantastic to see more and more industries and organisations become accessible to BSL users.
‘We’re thrilled that ITV have considered the accessibility of BSL users for the launch of their new channel feature, making it easier for them to find new signed content.
‘Building in accessibility from the start is important and should be the norm, and we look forward to seeing ITV expanding its access services across the remaining platforms.’
ITV also made history this year by casting its first-ever deaf contestant on Love Island, Tasha Ghouri, who has spoken about her ‘superpower’ cochlear implant.
Meanwhile, Rose Ayling-Ellis became the first deaf dancer to take to the ballroom floor in Strictly Come Dancing, eventually being crowned champion of the 2021 series.
The former EastEnders actor used her stint on the show to help give further visibility to what the Deaf community face on a daily basis, including performing part of one of her routines in silence.