KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 22 — Apart from promoting the new normal following COVID-19, the Department of Community Communications (J-KOM) under the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia will come out with more initiatives involving persons with disabilities (PwD) in the early stage of its establishment.
Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah said the main objective of the department is to establish two-way communication between the government and the people, with the PwD being among the vulnerable groups that need to be given extra attention.
“InsyaAllah, we have sufficient funds right now, but if we were to have a special television channel for the PwD in the future, for example, we will, of course, seek additional funds,” he said in reply to Senator Ras Adiba Radzi at the Dewan Negara sitting today.
Ras Adiba had wanted to know whether the ministry would provide fund injection or special allocation to J-KOM.
She had earlier asked the minister to state the ministry’s efforts to make it compulsory for all stations, portals and news channels to be disability-friendly with assistance such as sign language interpreters, audio description, and augmentative and alternative communication, in line with the goals of the People with Disabilities Action Plan 2016-2022.
Saifuddin explained that RTM, for example, has continuously utilised its four television channels by implementing initiatives that make it easier for visually-impaired viewers to enjoy broadcasting services, especially through its news programme.
“In Bernama, I was made to understand that it will start using sign language interpreter starting early next year and I hope the Honorable Senator (Ras Adiba) herself (as Chairman of Bernama) can lead the effort to have Bernama TV newsreader reading the news with sign language interpreter interpreting it at the same time,” he added.