Asianet News communicates news in sign language for hearing impaired
As part of International Day of Sign Languages on 23rd September, Asianet News had introduced sign language anchoring in selected Bulletins
About one per cent of our population is hearing/speech impaired, which denies them accessibility to television, especially news channels where the audio elements are significant. Asianet News has collaborated with the National Institute of Speech and Hearing (NISM) to introduce sign language specialists as news anchors.
As part of International Day of Sign Languages on 23rd September, and for the rest of week, Asianet News has introduced sign language anchoring in selected Bulletins. From 23rd to 27th of September, sign language specialists co-anchored the bulletins during 8:00 am, 2:00 pm and 4:00 pm. These anchors handled the live bulletins without interruption and carried them out effortlessly.
Unlike the regular anchors, they didn't have any teleprompter support and had to interpret it live. The telecast with sign language news anchors went live on 23rd September after altering much of the graphical and visual patterns. Asianet decided to give up on the commercial pop-ups which occupied a lot of space which was also had an impact on revenue for the channel. However, when the program went live, it was highly appreciated by the viewers and civil society at large.
Speaking on the initiative, Frank P Thomas, Director and Group CFO, Asianet News Network, said, “We wanted hearing and speech impaired citizens to experience our news and we approached National Institute of Speech and Hearing, which is an established institution based out of Aakulam, Thiruvananthapuram for hearing and speech impaired students while offering several higher-level courses for students. The sign language experts that they provided were flawless and carried out the anchoring with ease. This is a new experience for us and it was well accepted and appreciated by our viewers.”
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