Regulators

MIB to TV: Use same language captions & audio descriptions for differently-abled

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NEW DELHI: All news and other television channels have been requested to carry the same language captions and audio descriptions along with the programmes and news reports for persons with disabilities.

In a notice out on its website yesterday, the Information and Broadcasting Ministry said this was in compliance with concerns raised by the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DoEPwD) regarding formulation of Accessible India Campaign (Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan) for achieving universal accessibility for persons with disabilities (PwDs).

The note was addressed to all channels and also to the News Broadcasters Association (NBA), the Indian Broadcasting Foundation (lBF), and the Association of Regional Television Broadcasters.

The DoEPwD had stressed that access to TV programmes for many persons with disabilities is denied due to lack of assistive technology. During discussion with various NGOs, a need was felt to prepare guidelines that include that broadcasting partners should develop and telecast a certain percentage of programmes with audio description and captioning as an experiment to the benefit of the target persons with disabilities.

The note said the media has always been in the forefront of taking up important issues and causes including those for the welfare of the disadvantaged sections of society. In the recent past, Republic Day Parade commentary and Independence Day ceremony was carried with sign language interpretation for the benefit of differently abled people.

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