NEW DELHI :
As a boost to the implementation of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, the ministry of Information & Broadcasting has decided to implement accessibility standards for Persons with Disabilities in television programmes aired by private television channels starting this Independence Day.
Public broadcaster Doordarshan has been carrying sign language interpretation of the address of President of India on the eve of Independence Day and the Prime Minister’s address from the ramparts of Red Fort on Independence Day every year. This year too, the President’s address and the entire function from Red Fort will be telecast live with sign language interpretation on DD Bharati channel.
Further, the I&B ministry has asked all private satellite news TV channels to telecast a short programme on the Independence Day Celebrations, along with corresponding sign language interpretation, in the afternoon or evening of 15 August. The channels may either make their own programme with sign language interpretation, or, if they wish, carry a bulletin prepared by DD News free of cost.
Earlier today, Sony Pictures Networks India announced the introduction of closed captioning for its linear televised programming starting with two of its Hindi serials, Ishaaron Ishaaron Mein (Sony Entertainment Television) and Jijaji Chhat Per Hai (Sony SAB). This means that people with hearing disabilities will be able to read subtitles of the Hindi dialogues in the English script. Starting 15 August, the afternoon episodes of the two shows will be closed captioned in Hindi. Sony intends to extend the close captioning feature to other shows in the coming months. Depending on the technical capability of the downstream platform/service provider, viewers will have the choice to switch-on or switch-off the closed captions.
SPN has titled this its ‘Freedom of Entertainment’ initiative, through which it aims to make entertainment an inclusive experience for everyone including persons with disabilities.