Working Meeting Held on Ensuring Access to Programmes for Persons with Disabilities

 Skopje, 13 December 2018 – As part of its efforts to promote certain activities among the broadcasters so that the latter would make their programmes accessible for persons with vision and hearing impairments, the Agency held a working meeting today with representatives of the national television broadcasters. The purpose of the meeting was to look into the ways and possibilities of broadcasters’ adjusting their programmes for the persons with sensory impairments, and to present the benefits that the television broadcasters may receive from this process.

The Agency presented to the attendees a booklet titled “How to Provide Information for Persons with Sensory Impairments – Approach, Services, Programmes, Materials and Alternative Formats”, which it had prepared and printed into Macedonian, Albanian and English. The booklet highlights the needs, ideas and considerations of those severely and less severely sight or hearing impaired living in the Republic of Macedonia. It explains, in an easy-to-understand way, through graphs and pictures, how the media can ensure easier communication, depending on the type of impairment – hearing, vision, physical or mental disability – by means of subtitled videos, open or closed textual descriptions, sign language or audio descriptions.

 These means of communication with the persons with disabilities have also been covered by the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, adopted on this day in 2006. The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities obligates its signatories, including Macedonia, to communicate with these persons through all forms of communication of their choice, including “accepting and facilitating the use of sign languages, Braille, augmentative and alternative communication, and all other accessible means, modes and formats of communication of their choice by persons with disabilities in official interactions”.

This week also marks the 70th anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The fundamental postulates on which the Universal Declaration of Human Rights rests point to the fact that freedoms and rights are given to all, all around the world, at any time or place. Bearing this in mind, the Agency remains dedicated to encouraging the broadcasters to remove the barriers that prevent the persons with sensory impairments from accessing information and using the audiovisual services that are available to the majority of citizens in Macedonia, and calls on the same to join in this process through self-initiative.

The related presentation may be downloaded at this link:

How to Provide Access to Programmes for Persons with Disabilities 

Sasho Bogdanovski, M.A.