Description

In your country, are accessible broadcasting services (TV and radio programs) readily available to all persons with disabilities?
“Accessible broadcast services” are optional subtitles (closed captioning), signer in the screen (sign language version of the audio), speech-to-text conversion data (radio), audio description, user-friendliness receivers. Please refer to the specific percentage of the accessible programming in television and the percentage of accessible programming in radio.

Relates to Convention Article:

  • No.9, Accessibility
  • No.21, Freedom of expression and opinion, and access to information
  • No. 30, Participation in cultural life, recreation, leisure and sport

In detail

Brief explanation of the question

Article 21 elaborates in more detail on how the accessibility of information and communication can be ensured in practice. “Inter alia”, the State Parties shall encourage “the mass media, including providers of information through the Internet, to make their services accessible to persons with disabilities”. Article 30 prescribes that State Parties shall ensure that persons with disabilities “enjoy access to television programmes, films, theatre and other cultural activities, in accessible formats”.

The CRPD calls for “reasonable accommodation” for persons with disabilities. But the extent of the approapiate onus on television and radio to provide measures that will make it possible for those with hearing, sight, or aging disabilities to consume the same services as those without disabilities is something that could not be directly defined. Each country should establish its own accessibility programmes in response to the wishes of its population with disabilities, broadcast standards, technical possibilities, resources available for investment and the management circumstances of its broadcasters. Therefore, the question asks for the availability of accessible broadcasting services that can be answered using a percentage of the accessible programming.

Summary of results

Together with transportation and built environment, ensuring full access to information and communication and services opened or provided to the public is indeed vital pre-condition for effective enjoyment of many rights covered by CRPD.
In terms of accessible broadcasting services, TV programs are often available while accessible radio programming is less frequent (USA, Argentina, Philippines, Bhutan or South Sudan). For both radio and TV, additional comments show that usually the service is available only for a limited number of hours. Accessible broadcasting programs are normally available in the state channels (Finland, Portugal, Denmark, Chile, Nicaragua, Ethiopia, Spain, Tunisia, Vietnam, Iceland or Tanzania) and for the national official languages only (Rwanda). They are mainly focusing on captioning for hearing impaired persons rather than audio description.

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