Botswana: MP calls for sign language on national TV

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at
Wed Aug 30 12:59:29 UTC 2006

Kokorwe calls for sign language
29 August, 2006

Kweneng South MP Gladys Kokorwe has called for the introduction of sign
language on the national television. Debating the National Broadcasting
Policy, Kokorwe said the move would cater for many people with hearing
impairment who did not have to miss out on the television programmes.
Under the current arrangement they can not follow the news and miss out on
a lot information on issues that affect them such as HIV/AIDS and
elections, she said.

The closest the policy under discussion has come to talking about the need
is the call for the envisioned public broadcaster to be encouraged to
increase programming in languages other than English and Setswana as well
as the inclusion of sign languages. The 2001 population census put the
number of people with hearing impairment as high as 10 646. Some 2 104 of
these are completely deaf. The statistics, according to the MP, make a
case for sign language on the national television even more compelling:
This has to be done as a matter of urgency even before the transformation
of Btv into a public broadcaster.


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