Commonwealth Games Come Under Fire From Deaf Groups
written by: alzo93
The Commonwealth Games kicked off this week in Glasgow, Scotland and is already facing criticism from deaf rights groups in places like New Zealand. There are about 9,000 deaf people in New Zealand and The National Foundation for the Deaf and Deaf Aotearoa New Zealand, which represents the deaf community. They say many of these people are missing out on the Commonwealth Games because there are no captions or on-screen interpreters available.
Louise Carroll, spokesperson for the foundation said ”You are watching the faces of the people around you, trying to read what is happening as the television screen is not captioned and you cannot hear the commentators”. She says that the foundation has been negotiating with broadcasters for some time now and no agreement has yet been reached to introduce captioning for programming. Ms Carroll says that the real issue with providing the captions for the Commonwealth Games, and other general programming centres around who should have to pay for it, given that it is quite an expensive service to provide.
Research carried out recently on behalf of The National Foundation for the Deaf and Deaf Aotearoa New Zealand has shown that until the government decide to legislate on the issue, like they have done in the UK and Australia, broadcasters will not provide captions for its viewers. However, the Broadcasting Minister, Craig Foss said that he has no plans to bring legislation to force the change before the government any time soon, although he did mention that some major broadcasters were investing in new technology which would eventually allow for enhanced captioning in the future.