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Shutdown of the Greek Public Television (ERT) is impeding access to information for Greek Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing

Shutdown of the Greek Public Television (ERT) is impeding access to information for Greek Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing
  
  

 

Why this is important to me

News broadcast in Greek Sign Language (G.S.L) was transmitted by public television ERT (Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation), in 1982. This was the first time that Deaf and Hard of Hearing citizens of Greece could finally watch a newscast in their own language. In the years that followed, providing a 7-minute news broadcast in Greek Sign Language became a prerequisite for any television channel to acquire a broadcasting licence. In addition, the new digital channel Prisma+ (part of ERT Broadcasting Corporation), started in 2005 to provide the hourly 9 o’clock news with Greek Sign Language interpretation in 2005. Moreover, all programs on Prisma+ were broadcasted with Greek Sign Language interpretation and subtitles. Also, since 2007, the Parliament Channel (part of public television-ERT) transmitted selected Parliamentary sessions with simultaneous interpretation in Greek Sign Language, thus ensuring that the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing citizens enjoyed the right of access to information regarding the political issues concerning all the citizens of Greece.
Until the Government’s action to shut down ERT’s Broadcasting (the night of Tuesday the 11th of June), both NET and ERT3 (part of ERT Broadcasting Corporation) broadcasted a 5-minute news bulletin in G.S.L. on a daily basis. In addition, the hourly 9 o’clock news continued to be transmitted with G.S.L. interpretation on ERT HD. Moreover the Parliament Channel transmitted both the daily newscast and selected Parliamentary sessions with G.S.L. interpretation. The Channels mentioned above (NET, ERT3, ERT HD and Parliament Channel) were transmitted by ERT nationally, while the private channels which curry out only a 5 minute news bulletin, cover 75% of broadcast domain of Greece.
Government’s action resulted in impeding access to information for Greek Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing citizens. This constitutes an abolition of their constitutional right of access to information, is opposed to European Union Law and violates the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
The Association of Interpreters of Greek Sign Language protests and condemns the Government’s decision to suspend broadcasting of the Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation (ERT). The Government’s action excludes Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing citizens from information access, violating their constitutional rights. As a result the Greek Deaf community is once again isolated by having no access to information and no right to participate equally in the social and political life of the country.
We demand that Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing citizens be allowed access to information of the same quality and to the same extent as was until recently provided by ERT.

We demand that the Constitutional Rights of Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing citizens be respected. These rights are part of the Greek Constitution and part of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and are recognised by European Union Law.

Visit our website: http://www.sdeng.org.gr/


Posted July 4, 2013
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