New CA rules hand broadcasters 12 months to hire sign experts

27 July 2018

Regulation & Policy

Broadcasters have only one year to hire adequate sign language experts under newly published rules that seek to boost information access among persons with disabilities (PWDs).

The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) gazetted rules last week, which among other things require broadcasters to accompany all emergency announcements with sign language interpretation.

The agency says that all television broadcasters now have up to 12 months to ensure 100 per cent signing during news and events of national importance as well as all emergency announcements.

“The Authority shall, by subsequent Kenya Gazette notices, require licensed broadcasting service providers to comply with additional requirements necessary to make broadcasting services more accessible to PWDs, as may be prescribed from time to time,” said CA Director-General Francis Wangusi.

Broadcasters have also been given a year to comply with a requirement of inserting audio descriptions when relaying emergency information and announcements of public interest.

This means that by end of June next year, it will be against CA rules for any public broadcaster, commercial free to-air television broadcasters, community television broadcasters or subscription broadcasting service provider to not have sign language interpretation during relaying of emergency information.

In addition, within three years, national broadcaster will be required to insert captioning in at least 60 minutes per week of other programming aired during the watershed period while commercial stations have a four-year deadline. The number of captioned minutes will increase to 120 in the fifth year then 180 in the seventh year.

Source: Business Daily