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Federal Government directs TV stations to deploy sign language interpreters during news broadcast

The Federal Government has on Monday directed television stations to deploy sign language interpreters during their major news casting.

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

He said the directive which was in line with the National Broadcasting Code will be officially communicated to all public and private TV stations on Tuesday.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the directive was sequel to a complaint by the Executive Director of CCD, David Anyaele that many of their members were being discriminated against without the sign language component during news casting.

Mr. Anyaele who was physically present at the meeting, said he was making the request on behalf of the 31 million Nigerians living with disabilities.

The minister noted that the sign language component during news casting was backed by the NBC code and the directive would go out to TV stations to comply with the provision.

He assured that his ministry would collaborate with the Centre in the implementation of the relevant sections of the Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act, 2018 assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Mr. Mohammed said he was glad that some states had domesticated the Law, particularly Lagos and Ekiti states that were meeting with the imperatives of the Act.

He said the body must be proactive in ensuring the implementation of the provision of the Act  that all public organisations are to reserve at least five percent of employment opportunities for Persons With Disabilities (PWD).

The Disability Act prohibits all forms of discrimination on ground of disability.

The Act imposes fine of N1 million for corporate bodies and N100,000 for individuals or a term of six months imprisonment for violation.

The law, among others, prohibits discrimination in public transportation facilities and directs service providers to make provision for the physically, visually and hearing impaired and all persons howsoever challenged. 

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