FG directs TV stations to engage sign language interpreters during news presentation

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The federal government on Monday directed TV stations in the country to engage the services of sign language interpreters during news presentation.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed gave the directive during a virtual meeting with officials of the Centre for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) in Abuja on Monday.

He was, however, silent on the deadline to make this happen or the penalties for defaulting stations.

He said employing sign language interpreters is in line with the national broadcasting code. Mohammed said the directive will be officially communicated to all public and private TV stations on Tuesday.

David Anyaele, executive director of CCD, had earlier complained about discrimination against special persons during news presentation.

He said the request for the use of sign language interpreters is being made on behalf of the 31 million Nigerians living with disabilities.

The minister explained that the sign language component during newscasting was backed by the NBC code and the directive will go out to TV stations to comply with the provision.

He assured that his ministry will collaborate with CCD in the implementation of the relevant sections of the “discrimination against persons with disabilities (prohibition) act” assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2018.

Mohammed said he is glad that some states have domesticated the law, particularly Lagos and Ekiti states.

He urged the body to be proactive in ensuring the implementation of the provision of the act which stipulates that all public organisations must reserve at least five per cent of employment opportunities for persons with disabilities.

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