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Debra Ruh

Employability & Technology

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Captioning for Radio Is an Exciting New Development in Service to the Deaf, Hearing Loss, and Deaf-Blind Communities

(With thanks of ALDA & DanishKadah)


Captioning for Radio is an exciting new development in service to the Deaf, Hearing Loss, and Deaf-Blind communities. 


Captioned Radio is nearing approval as an international recommendation by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU-UIT), the agency of the United Nations that adopts standards recommendations for telecommunications services worldwide. 

We are urging Deaf and Hard of Hearing groups worldwide to support this Proposed New ITU Recommendation through their Radio Spectrum Regulatory authority.

Details of the UN-ITU Procedure

At the meeting of Radiocommunication Study Group 6, held on 28 and 29 October 2010, the Study Group decided to seek adoption of a draft new Recommendation on Radio Captioning by correspondence.  The consideration period ends on 6 February 2011.  If no objections are received from Member States (National Countries) during this period, the ITU approval-by-consultation procedure will be initiated.  Any Member State who objects to the continuation of the approval procedure for the draft Recommendation should advice the Director of the reason and to indicate possible changes to the text in order to resolve the problem. 

Action Requested

We are urging Deaf, Hearing Loss and Deaf-Blind organizations to contact their country's Radio Spectrum Regulatory Authority requesting support of the Captioned Radio Recommendation now out for adoption and its continuing support and vote of approval at the final approval stage.

The formal adoption reference has been released in ITU RadioSector Circular Letter 6/LCCE/72.   The Circular Letter identifies the proposed standard as:

Draft New Recommendation ITU-R BS.[CAP.RAD] Doc. 6/303(Rev.1) - Digital radio broadcast service, captioned radio.  This Recommendation describes mechanisms to support captioned radio broadcast services on the basis of terrestrial digital sound broadcasting systems described in Recommendation ITU-R BS.1114 as well as traditional analogue FM system(s).

A link to the full document can be found here.

It is important to note that although ITU Recommendations are voluntary, the Captioned Radio proposal urges service support to help achieve the widest possible adoption by interested broadcasters and widest availability and lowest receiver costs.



Related Items:

• Deaf-Alerter


• New Zealand: Sky TV Adds Closed Captioning to Four Channels

• ITU and the Internet Governance Forum 2007

• 2015 United Nations Public Service Forum, Day and Awards Ceremony

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