Commercial Free to Air networks must strive to include an Auslan interpreter when broadcasting, matters of public importance, such as emergency broadcasts.
Free TV Australia has updated its Code of Practice:
Where an Auslan interpreter is present at a news conference, official briefing regarding an emergency, or a public announcement of critical national significance and other events, licensees will include the Auslan interpreter in the frame. While there may be exceptional circumstances where inclusion of an interpreter is not practicable, licensees will take all reasonable steps to ensure that interpreters are included in the camera shot and in a manner where they can be clearly seen. Licensees should ensure that all key employees are aware of and familiar with such guidelines.
FreeTV CEO Bridget Fair said, “FreeTV is pleased to have worked co-operatively with Deaf Australia to update the Code to better reflect the needs and interests of the deaf community. We appreciate the constructive engagement with Deaf Australia on this issue.
“FreeTV members understand the importance of accessibility of commercial free-to-air television to all Australians.
“These changes recognise that Auslan is a primary language for many deaf members of the community and will increase accessibility of the platform for those members.”