OUR TV SCREENS PREPARE TO ATTUNE WITH THE NEEDS OF PEOPLE WITH DISABILITY, I & B MINISTRY WILL ENSURE INFORMATION AND ENTERTAINMENT ACCESSIBILITY THIS WAY
Dr Shipra Mathur
I have grown up watching old style dull and drab DD news with special bulletin for deaf and mute in sign language. I had no one in my acquaintance who was consumer of this news. Perhaps for this reason, never cared or rather mimicked the sign language bulletin in teenage fun moments!
In past few years as I got closer to the people with disability, I could sense how indifferent we remained throughout to their part of problems. Absolutely unaware of terminologies they object upon and attitude they detest. Well, as intense dialogue ensued and we as team progressed on special stories and camps, I learnt it was a very intelligent world indeed. I wondered how deaf and mute danced to the tunes of Bollywood songs and how visually challenged would reach a destination without help! How they would love mingling with all of us and how we misunderstood them knowing so less about their abilities.
Now with different lens, their issues are more visible and their expectations appear so genuine. At policy levels also, it seems to be moving in right direction. With Accessible India campaign and identification of 100 BUILDINGS and 50 CITIES, India is waiting to become completely accessible. But what about Media? How would a person with Visual Impairment enjoy movies or any other broadcast? Even if they can listen to the audio part, what about the non-verbal and visual components? In movies and screen programmes SILENCE and SCENES speak louder. One aught to see it to feel it.
Good news is that talks between Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment and Ministry of Information and Broadcasting are in process. Soon, its going to be a whole new inclusive world of TV broadcast with all screen shows to have inbuilt system of describing the scenes, gestures, postures and all silent communication that can be heard. For deaf and mute, sub script is already an option and soon it will be compulsory for all producers to comply with the rules to make all Audio Visual programmes completely Disabled Friendly.
SO, stay ready in NEW YEAR for INDIAN SCREENS with new range of Audience to witness TRULY INCLUSIVE ERA!