47/08 - 16Oct2008

Application of Article 3c of the Audio Visual Media Services Directive

This article under the heading Provisions applicable to all audiovisual media services, provides that:

“Member States shall encourage media service providers under their  jurisdiction to ensure that their services are gradually made accessible to people with a visual or hearing disability.”

Although this directive has not as yet been transposed into our legislation it is recommended that service providers are conversant with this provision and take the necessary measures to fall in line with such obligation.

As a starter, it is being suggested that weather reports and financial news should be among the first services to conform to this obligation.  This implies that all the information conveyed to viewers via graphics or animation should from now on be presented verbally.

The same technique should be adopted in the case of programmes where televiewers are requested to participate using telephone or sms numbers.   In such cases a verbal mention of the said details including their respective tariffs, should be made at least once during the programme.

Given the nature of this provision your immediate attention and co-operation is being sought.

Dr Kevin Aquilina
Chief Executive
16 th October 2008
Ref  40/02