New Delhi: Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar has announced the implementation of accessibility standards for television programmes for persons with hearing impairment. This will be done by providing captions and Indian sign language.
Javadekar said all news channels will carry a news bulletin with sign language interpretation at least once a day and all TV channels and service providers will run at least one programme per week with subtitles or captioning.
Live news, live and deferred live content or events such as sports, live music shows, award shows, live reality shows, live debates, scripted and unscripted reality shows, advertisements and teleshopping content have been exempted from these guidelines, a statement from the ministry said.
These provisions will be implemented from 16 September 2019, and will be carried out in phases over the next five years. The policy will be reviewed after two years.
Javadekar said that the possibility of implementing accessibility standards for films for the visually impaired, through the provision of narration between dialogues, is being examined as well.
This Independence Day, the I&B ministry asked all private satellite news TV channels to telecast a short programme on the celebrations, along with corresponding sign language interpretation. The channels could either make their own programme with sign language interpretation, or, if they wished, carry a bulletin prepared by DD News free of cost.