Youth solon pushes for disabled-friendly impeachment trial coverage
In light of the ongoing impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona, Kabataan Party-list Rep. Raymond “Mong” Palatino today urged the Senate, with the help of television stations, to use “closed caption” during the coverage of the impeachment trial to make it accessible for persons with disabilities especially the hearing impaired.
“The impeachment trial of Chief Justice Corona is a concern of all Filipinos. Persons with disabilities should be provided with equal opportunities to take part in this historical moment. We must install measures that will encourage and allow them to take an active role in nation-building. Important public proceedings such as the impeachment should be inclusive, not exclusive,” said Palatino.
Palatino filed last year House Bill 3838 or the Closed Caption Bill which seeks to require holders or operators of television shows, producers of television programs, home video programs and motion pictures to broadcast or present their programs and films with closed caption.
Closed captioning is a method of captioning or subtitling of television, home video programs and films for persons with hearing impairment without interfering with the normal television picture and films by coding captions as vertical interval data signal which is decoded at the receiver and superimposed on the television pictures or on films of motion pictures.
HB 3838 is set to be tackled in Congress today.
Palatino cited the Department of Health and the University of the Philippines survey on persons with disability conducted in 2003 which states that the country has at least 4.5 million Filipinos with hearing disabilities.
Palatino furthered that the percent distribution of the types of disability in the country is as follows: movement disability (39%), hearing (33%), speaking (10%), mental (10%) and vision (8%).
“We laud the efforts of television programs which provide sign language interpretation during their coverage of the ongoing impeachment proceedings. But as sign language may take years to learn, solely relying on this method may prove limiting for the hearing impaired. The use of closed captioning is strongly urged as a supplement to ensure participation of our deaf and hard-of-hearing citizens,” Palatino said.
According to Nielsen Media Research, television remains to be the Filipinos’ preferred medium to get their daily dose of information, whether in terms of news content or advertising.
Palatino said that closed caption is not only useful for the hearing impaired. He listed as follows the other benefits of closed captioning:
- Beneficial to those learning a new language
- Advantageous to those starting to learn how to read.
- Helpful for viewers to expand their vocabulary and improve reading comprehension
- Excellent for those staying in a noisy environment (especially the workplace)
- Ideal for those staying in places that need to be quiet (e.g. hospitals, offices, etc.) ###