The Audio Description Foundation and the Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK) conducted a workshop to improve hearing and visually impaired people's access to audiovisual media services.
Speaking about the workshop, Audio Description Foundation President Kenan Önalan said that they expect some regulations within a few months. Television channels will start to provide audio descriptions for visually impaired people and sign language and detailed subtitles for hearing impaired people.
Önalan told Anadolu Agency (AA) that their foundation tries to ensure that many TV series on television channels have audio description, sign language and detailed subtitles for many hearing and visually impaired people. He stressed that they have come a long way in providing hearing and visually impaired people with access to information thanks to this important work.
Since that they do the same work for films in theaters, Önalan said: "We want visually or hearing impaired people to be able to access the same information as everyone else. If access to information happens at the same time, it will be meaningful." Since a visually impaired person who can only read a novel 10 years after it is published falls behind, Önalan added: "We do not want to fall behind in subjects that require visuality like TV series and films. We also want access to information to be ready for hearing and visually impaired people without delay. Thus, our work proceeds well. We prepare audio description, sign language and detailed subtitles for nearly 20 TV series a week."
'Service will start when it is completed'
Our workshop with RTÜK had good results. In line with decisions made in the workshop, television channels will have some responsibilities. We expect regulations within a few months. With these regulations, televisions will provide visually and hearing impaired people with audio descriptions, detailed subtitles and sign language. Many hearing and visually impaired will be able to watch television comfortably. This work will be very valuable and meaningful for us. It will include a wide area -- from prime news and daytime programs, to TV series. For example, when people talk about a nice TV series, we become outsiders, as we cannot watch it. Thus, people with visual and hearing impairments will have access to information at the same time. We do our work for TV series, but people with visual and hearing impairments can only watch on the Internet for the time being. When this work is completed, hearing impaired people will be able to watch prime news with sign language on TV. In addition, rerun will be presented for the visually and hearing impaired. For the visually impaired, an audio channel will be opened. RTÜK has started work. The regulation has been prepared; the service will start when it is completed. "
What is audio description?
Audio description adds additional narration to provide information about places, time, character, events that develop silently, appearances and feelings in fields such as films and theaters. With audio description, everything, including cinema films, video films and cinematographic work along with acts of theater plays apart from the dialogue, is narrated by an external voice. It includes techniques that enable visually impaired people to watch these pieces without anyone's help.