House approves bill on sign language

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07:08 PM December 5th, 2012

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December 5th, 2012 07:08 PM

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MANILA, Philippines—Persons with hearing disabilities may soon get a better TV viewing experience.

The House of Representatives passed on third and final reading a measure seeking subtitles and sign-language insets for local newscasts.

Should it become a law, the bill would make TV programs more accessible to people with hearing disabilities, said Representative Teddy Casiño, one of the authors.

“State affirms and mandates the rehabilitation, self-development and integration of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) into mainstream society through Republic Act No. 7277 or the Magna Carta for Persons with Disabilities,” he said in a news release.

“Through the said law, television stations are encouraged to use subtitles or sign-language interpreters in their newscast programs.”

Under the bill, “all free-to-air television stations will be required to provide Filipino sign language insets, and if possible, closed caption or subtitles in at least two newscast programs a day and special programs covering events of national significance.”

“The measure will also grant the free-to-air television stations the option to provide for Filipino sign language insets in other programs such as those pertaining to cultural affairs, livelihood and those catering to children,” according to the news release.

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