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Local TV stations to provide sign language visual in-sets

May B. Miasco/NSA (The Freeman) - December 20, 2015 - 9:00am

Especially for emergency situations

CEBU, Philippines - All local television networks airing in Cebu City will soon provide sign language visual in-sets in their news broadcasts for hearing-impaired individuals to gain access to information, particularly in disaster and emergency situations.

This after Councilor Lea Japson’s proposed ordinance on the matter was recently approved by the council during the final deliberation.

“With the ever changing times where communication is very important and to address the need of our differently-able members of the society, a person performing a sign language should be incorporated during the airing of news, whether local and national,” said Japson.

Citing an international finding on Disability-Inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction, Japson said persons with disabilities are “two to four times more likely to die” than the general population when disaster occurs.

“[Since] many governments in the region do not incorporate disability perspectives in legal frameworks, policies and action plans for disaster risk reduction, public service announcements are often issued in formats and language that are not accessible by persons with disabilities,” Japson said.

The concern reflects the sentiments of the deaf community in the city as they spoke about the matter during a public hearing on November 4.

“Most of the time, when there is no interpreter, we do not understand what is going on. We cannot understand what’s on the news. Oftentimes, in disasters and emergency situations, we are left out. We cannot understand and it left us vulnerable,” said Janice Aparri, president of the Cebu Gualandi Association of the Deaf, Inc., through interpreter John Paul Maunes, one of the co-founders of the Philippine Accessible Deaf Service, Inc.

They expressed support for the proposed ordinance co-sponsored by Councilor Alvin Dizon and pleaded for its immediate passage.

The proponents said that April 2008, the United Nations Convention for Rights of Persons with Disabilities was ratified by the Philippine Government.

Article 9 of UNCRDP, they cited, provides that state parties should take appropriate measures to ensure persons with disabilities access, on equal basis with others, to the physical environment, to transportation, to information and communication technologies and systems, and to other facilities and services open or provided to the public, both in urban and rural areas.

Once passed, the ordinance will be known as “The Sign Language Ordinance.”

The proponents also provided the ideal dimension of the TV in-set.

“All TV stations should have a square frame in-set with plain dark-colored back drop, sufficient lighting with a dimension of 3” by 4" (three-inch width by four-inch length) situated at the lower right hand side of the television screen,” the ordinance read.

All TV stations, it added, will be given a period of 60 days from the passage of the ordinance to comply with the mandatory act and the required TV in-set dimension.

“After the given period, a non-compliant TV station will be meted a penalty of P5,000 for every infraction and the same penalty will be imposed until full compliance,” it further read.  (FREEMAN)

 

 

ACIRC CEBU CITY CEBU GUALANDI ASSOCIATION OF THE DEAF COUNCILOR ALVIN DIZON COUNCILOR LEA JAPSON DISABILITY-INCLUSIVE DISASTER RISK REDUCTION JANICE APARRI JAPSON JOHN PAUL MAUNES PHILIPPINE ACCESSIBLE DEAF SERVICE PHILIPPINE GOVERNMENT
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