Skopje, 28 October 2022 – Today, as part of the 2022 Media Literacy Days, the Agency for Audio and Audiovisual Media Services held a workshop titled “Accessibility without Undue Delay – Media Needs of People with Disabilities”. The workshop was aimed at helping broadcasters and providers of on-demand audiovisual media services to manage more easily their obligations under the revised Audiovisual Media Services Directive, according to which they will have to make their programmes accessible to people with disabilities.
As Agency Director Zoran Trajchevski pointed out, “the implementation of the paradigm of equality and equal participation in society for all social groups, rests in particular on the work of the media. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities stipulates that that the Member States are obliged to take into account the protection and promotion of the human rights of persons with various types of disabilities in all the policies and programmes and to take up measures in the areas of economic, social and cultural rights, in accordance with the maximum means available and, if necessary, within the framework of international cooperation, gradually achieve full realization of these rights”.
Sasho Bogdanovski of the Agency’s Programme Affairs Department, in his role as the moderator, discussed the draft-self-regulatory document for accessibility to audiovisual media content and highlighted the Agency’s activities for ensuring accessibility to the media for people with sensory disabilities.
Kristijan Lazarev, the author of “Kiko” (the Macedonian reading assistant) and project assistant of the “Open the Windows” Association, also spoke at the workshop, emphasizing the benefits of the implementation of the “Kiko” reader, as well as the value of providing digital access to information on the media and institutions’ web pages. Another panelist at the event was Elena Kochoska, programme manager for employment and education of persons with disabilities at “Polio Plus.” She pointed out the real problems that persons with disabilities face and shared her thoughts on how to contribute to overcoming the barriers in the delivery of media content.
The common conclusion reached by the present representatives of the media, organizations and associations of persons with disabilities was that media should contribute to fighting discrimination against persons with disabilities, by providing an equal basis for them to exercise their right to receive complete and regular information, including accessibility of media content in a format that is adapted for people with disabilities. At the same time, media have an opportunity to contribute significantly to the development of human rights, inclusion and promotion of the idea of equality.
At the workshop, translation into the Macedonian sign language was provided by Marija Bashevska.