South Africa’s deaf community will have an opportunity to engage with the Department of Communications and its entities to highlight issues that affect the deaf, people who are hard of hearing and those with hearing loss.
The Department of Communications, together with the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) and led by Minister Nomvula Mokonyane, will host the Deaf Federation of South Africa for two days from Thursday.
The session will be attended by entities including, the Independent Communications Authority (ICASA), the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), the Media Development and Diversity Agency (MDDA), Film and Publications Board ( FPB) and Brand SA.
The Minister will also meet with Deaf Provincial Councils from all the nine provinces, in particular young people who are deaf.
“As we wrap up Youth Month as government we need to create a conducive and safe environment for the country’s deaf young people, and ensure that they too enjoy equal opportunities in this country,” said the Minister.
The meeting will start with senior government officials from various departments sharing government policies that are aimed at creating enabling environment for the deaf community.
The Minister will on Friday interact with young people who are deaf at the Hector Peterson Memorial in Soweto, followed by a tour of the SABC to engage the broadcaster about the need to cater for the deaf community and the challenges they face in consuming media content.
“As the department responsible for broadcasting policy, we need to look at the issue of subtitles, closed captions and real time closed captions as far as the broadcasting is concerned. These are real concerns for the deaf community. Universal access for broadcasting services cannot be achieved if concerns from deaf community are not addressed,” added Mokonyane.