WATCH: TVM and TVM2 to transmit short video clips to promote the learning of sign language
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Report: Ruth Castillo
On the World Day that commemorates Sign Language, Public Broadcasting Services announced that throughout the day on TVM and TVM2 they will be transmitting short video clips so that more people will be able to learn and interpret sign language and which is also one of the country’s official languages. This is one of a number of initiatives being taken by national broadcasting to create a greater awareness of this facility.
PBS is thus joining the campaign for more persons to learn Maltese Sign Language, the country’s third official language. The short video clips on TVM and TVM2 will feature words and basic phrases to help facilitate communication for those who are hard of hearing.
PBS CEO Charles Dalli said that during the autumn schedule TVM will continue with the 6 pm news bulletin for those with hearing difficulties and during this schedule the News Room programme “Insights” will also have this service.
Professor Carmen Sammut, PBS Chairperson, said it is an obligation for a public service to provide and safeguard the needs of all sectors of society. She said PBS aims to promote the use of sign language as a right.
The Commissioner for the Rights of Disabled Persons, Oliver Scicluna, who is also a PBS Board Director, promoted an agenda of accessibility and greater awareness of this language. He explained that sign language not only helps those who are hard of hearing but also those on the periphery of autism as well as those who experience intellectual difficulties.
The Minister Responsible for National Broadcasting, Carmelo Abela, said this is the start of a far more lengthy campaign. He said the next step is to encourage more people to take up a career in the interpretation of sign language.
According to the World Federation for those with Hearing Problems, around the world there are about 72 million persons that experience hearing difficulties and these communicate among themselves by using over 300 different sign languages – including Maltese.