Accessibility of TV speech

We are carrying out a research study on the accessibility of speech used in television and broadcasting.

This study is funded by the NIHR Manchester Biomedical Research Centre and is a collaboration between the University of Manchester, the University of Salford and the BBC.

About the study

The study is taking place so that we can understand why many people find the speech used in television, radio and online media (“reproduced speech”) difficult to understand.

Forty percent of older people say that television is their main source of company but many older people, and especially those with a hearing loss, experience some difficulty with understanding reproduced speech.

An ageing population means that people with some degree of hearing loss make up an increasing percentage of broadcast media audiences.

Take part in the study

If you meet all of the criteria outlined below, you might be eligible to take part.

You must:

  • have normal hearing OR wear hearing aids in both ears;
  • be between the ages of 50 and 75 years;
  • be a native English speaker;
  • have no history of neurological or speech disorders;
  • have normal, or corrected-to-normal vision.

Hearing aid users must also:

  • have used hearing aids for more than 1 month;
  • wear their hearing aids regularly (for 2 hours a day or more).

If you agree to take part in this study, we will assess your hearing. For people who wear hearing aids, we will also check how well your hearing aids are working.

We will then ask you to listen to some clips of BBC programmes and tell us what made these clips either easier or more difficult to understand.

Download the participant information sheet (PDF) for more specific information about the study and what taking part would mean for you.
Please note that participation in this study is entirely voluntary.

Get in touch

If you would like to take part, or have any questions at all, please contact us:

Tel: 0161 275 0210