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I&B Minister asks broadcasters to make shows accessible to the hearing-impaired

The overall implementation will be done in phases over next five years

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MUMBAI: The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has announced the implementation of accessibility standard for TV programmes for persons with hearing impairment from 16 September 2019.

I&B minister Prakash Javadekar announced that all news channels will carry a news bulletin with sign language interpretation at least once per day and all TV channels and service providers will run at least one programme per week with subtitles / captioning.

The overall implementation of the standards will be done in a phase-wise manner in the next five years. The government will review the policy after two years.

The announcement was made in order to enhance the accessibility of television programmes for the hearing impaired which will be done through the provision of captioning and Indian Sign Language.

Live news, live and deferred live content/events such as sports, live music shows, award shows, live reality shows, live debates, scripted/ unscripted reality shows, etc. and advertisements/ teleshopping content have been exempted.

Javadekar also announced that accessibility standards for films for visually impaired through provision of narration facility in between dialogues are also under examination.

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