Indian TV channels will now run subtitles for the hearing impaired
Not just entertainment channels, news, sports and other genres will also have to follow the new directive.Updated: Apr 15, 2016, 14:44 IST
To make television viewing easier and for the hearing impaired people, the information and broadcasting ministry has asked all TV channels to run subtitles on the screen for their shows. It also directed them to start more shows for such people.
In a directive issued to the Indian Broadcasting Foundation (lBF), the News Broadcasters Association (NBA), the Association of Regional Television Broadcasters of India (ARTBI), and the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI), the ministry has said that there is a need to assign greater emphasis to programs for disabled persons.
Not just entertainment channels, news, sports and other genres will also have to follow the new directive.
There is also no clarity on how soon the new rule will be implemented as the channels have been asked to revert with a compliance report.
The directive, which also calls for audio support for programs for visually disabled, comes in the wake of a meeting between the I&B ministry and the department of empowerment of persons with disabilities for the dissemination of the Centre’s ‘Accessible India Campaign’ (Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan) a nation-wide initiative for universal accessibility.
The campaign was launched in 2015 with the aim to help persons with disabilities access to more opportunities, transport systems and information and the communication eco-system and make at least 50% of all government buildings in Delhi and other state capitals disabled-friendly by 2018.
Data from Census 2001 shows visually challenged and hearing impaired people comprise 1.0% and 0.1% of the total population.
Apart from interventions to make television viewing accessible, the I&B ministry has also asked the broadcasters to increase the frequency of programmes for disabled persons; which can include films documenting their achievements or highlighting issues relevant to them.
Television channels and broadcasters’ associations will have to submit details of the steps taken to ensure the inclusiveness of all citizens in sharing information and entertainment to the ministry.
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