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IRIS 2018-10:1/21

Poland

Results of consultation on decree on measures for TV viewers with visual or hearing disabilities

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Jan Henrich

Institute of European Media Law (EMR), Saarbrücken/Brussels

On 20 September 2018, Poland’s National Broadcasting Council (KRRiT) presented the results of a consultation on its draft decree on accessible television for viewers with visual or hearing disabilities (projektu rozporządzenia w sprawie udogodnień dla osób niepełnosprawnych z powodu dysfunkcji narządu wzroku i osób niepełnosprawnych z powodu dysfunkcji narządu słuchu w programach telewizyjnych), which was published in June. It had been obliged to issue such a decree after an amendment to the Polish Radio and Television Act was proposed in March 2018, requiring television providers to offer accessible programmes for people with visual and hearing disabilities. The proportion of programmes with access services such as subtitles, audio description or sign language should gradually increase to 50% by 2024. In the first draft decree, the KRRiT provided precise quotas for individual access services according to different programme types. For example, 40% of general programmes should have subtitles, 7% audio description and 3% sign language. This was criticised in the consultation process, in which the views of various associations, broadcasters and operators of disabled facilities were sought between 11 July and 31 August.

Broadcasters and industry bodies demanded greater freedom with regard to the provision of access services, claiming that the 50% target by 2024 was ambitious in comparison with models in other countries. Additional exemptions for regional channels with a catchment of under 100 000 people were also called for. Some broadcasters also expressed concern about the extent of the information obligations contained in the Act.

Social associations, on the other hand, called for a higher proportion of audio description and sign language in various programme categories. They also argued that at least one information programme and one news programme should be broadcast with sign language on national channels during prime-time hours.

The KRRiT thanked the participants and will now prepare a new draft decree that takes into account the results of the consultation procedure.

References
Projektu rozporządzenia w sprawie udogodnień dla osób niepełnosprawnych z powodu dysfunkcji narządu wzroku i osób niepełnosprawnych z powodu dysfunkcji narządu słuchu w programach telewizyjnych PL
 http://merlin.obs.coe.int/redirect.php?id=19287
 
  Results of the consultation on the draft decree concerning accessible television for viewers with visual or hearing disabilities