KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 25 — Apart from ensuring that Bernama news services emerge as one of the most sought after in Southeast Asia, the new chairman of the Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama) also wants to see its content reach all people with disabilities (OKU).
Senator Ras Adiba Mohd Radzi, the veteran TV personality who is also the first woman and person with a disability to be appointed to the post, said she would ensure Bernama’s programmes and news bulletins were OKU friendly and accessible.
She said this includes the use of sign language interpreters or at the very least the use of closed captioning in all programs or news broadcasts on the organization’s television channel, Bernama TV.
“Bernama TV, for example, I want to make sure they have a sign language interpreter, but if they do not have one for interview sessions or talk shows, I want to make sure there is ‘closed captioning’.
“This way, we do not exclude the OKU community from following Bernama broadcasts …, InsyaAllah, we will have more OKU viewers,” she told Bernama.
“Many of my OKU friends follow Bernama … for those who can hear, they listen to Bernama Radio, but for those who cannot hear but can see, they need the (sign language) service to understand the news content presented on television.
“For children with autism or dyslexia, the information presented such as infographics should not be too ‘crowded’ because they can’t process it, and make sure the colours used in video recordings are not too bright as well,” she said.
Earlier, in her first day in office, Ras Adiba attended a briefing by Bernama’s top management, namely editor-in-chief and acting chief executive officer Datuk Mokhtar Hussain, deputy editor-in-chief (news) Abdul Rahman Ahmad, deputy editor-in-chief (business and finance) Khaidzir Md Yunus, deputy editor-in-chief (international news) Ahmad Fuad Yahya and other senior officials.
Ras Adiba, who is the president of OKU Sentral, an NGO championing the rights of persons with disabilities, was sworn in as a senator on May 20 this year and is the representative in the senate for persons with disabilities.
Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah, when announcing Ras Adiba’s appointment yesterday, said she will serve for three years from Nov 23.
She succeeds Suhaimi Sulaiman who resigned as chairman of Bernama on Aug 6.