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‘Use sign language interpreters, subtitle or we will revoke your licences!’ UCC fires at Television stations

UCC executive director Godfrey Mutabazi. UCC has sanctioned a directive to revoke licences of TV stations that do not have sign language or subtitles effective January 2019 (FILE PHOTO)

UCC executive director Godfrey Mutabazi. UCC has sanctioned a directive to revoke licences of TV stations that do not have sign language or subtitles effectively January 2019 (FILE PHOTO)

KAMPALA – Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) has set January 1, for television broadcasters to provide sign language and subtitles in major newscasts and programmes of national significance for persons with disabilities

According to a notice issued on Wednesday, the Commission insists that it will not renew the license of any television broadcasting operator that will not have fully complied with the directive.

“In exercise of its [UCC] mandate to set standards, monitor and enforce compliance relating to content, provided for; under Section 5(x) of the Uganda Communications Act, 2013, the Commission has repeatedly reminded all broadcasters to comply with the above requirement,” UCC wrote.

The Minimum Broadcasting Standards provided for under Section 31 and Schedule 4 of the Uganda Communications Act, 2013, requires all broadcasters to ensure that any programme that is broadcast complies with the existing law including providing sign language and subtitles in major newscasts and programmes.

Also, quoting article 35 of the Constitution, the commission noted that it recognizes the rights of persons with disabilities, and tasks Parliament to enact appropriate laws to protect persons with disabilities.

“The Parliament subsequently enacted the Persons with Disabilities Act, 2006, and Section 21(2) (a) of the persons with disabilities Act 2006, provides that any person who owns a television station shall provide sign language inset or subtitles in at least one major newscast programme each day and in all special programmes of national significance.”

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