NEW DELHI: The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B) has sought feedback from the public and stakeholders on ‘accessibility standards for television programmes’ to make television content and news more inclusive for persons with hearing impairment.
According to the standards formulated in September 2019, all television channels need to carry captions or text for dialogues and sound representation on screen in synchronous manner and headlines or summary of the key developments with news programmes or bulletins.
A notice issued by the ministry, inviting responses, on Wednesday says the ministry is in the process to get the ‘accessibility standards for television programmes for hearing impaired’ notified under the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 through the department of empowerment of persons with disabilities, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment for making television content inclusive for persons with hearing impairment.
“Solicits feedback/ comments from general public/ stakeholders in respect of the formulated standards within a period of 21 days from the date of publication of this notice preferably in electronic form at the email address email@example.com,” reads the notice.
In August 2019, the ministry had decided to implement ‘accessibility standards for persons with disabilities’ in television programmes being shown by the channels.
“After reviewing suggestions or comments, the government will initiate the process to notify the standards,” said an official of the ministry.
A few entertainment programmes are being aired with captions and texts as per the mandate of the accessibility standards.
Subtitles or captioning must be provided in the language of the channel or language as may be deemed feasible by the broadcaster depending on factors such as target audience or target region, says the standards.