Deaf News: Campaign launched for CBBC Newsround to be signed online

Posted on October 9, 2014

A new campaign has been launched to put pressure on the BBC to provide signed versions of the renowned BBC TV Children’s current affairs programme, Newsround.

Newsround, which was first aired in 1972,  is a daily programme that provides news in a format that is aimed at younger audiences.

The program is subtitled but Ramon Woolfe, director of Drip Media and a Deaf father himself, fears that young sign language users are missing out on important information about the world because the programme is not sign language interpreted.

He said:

newsround“Understanding current affairs allows everyone to participate actively in the world.  It allows individuals to build informed opinions and engage in healthy debates with their peers, friends and family members.  It prepares them for their journey in life and exposes them to cultural life.”

Woolfe feels that Deaf children who communicate in BSL (British Sign Language) need access to current affairs to keep up with their counterparts.

Many deaf children are educated in schools with few or no other deaf children, which means they have limited social interaction in which to pick up news, and that is something he hopes to change.

He added: “Unfortunately, deaf children miss so much dialogue in noisy speech-dominant classrooms and signing deaf children find themselves quite removed from engaging in current affairs.”

CBBC Newsround broadcasts daily on television and also airs daily bulletins on its website. Most are subtitled but for many deaf children using sign language or with common associated problems with literacy, subtitles may offer little benefit.

“We firmly believe that latest technology can be harnessed to give deaf children access to, for example, at least one daily bulletin presented by a deaf person qualified in BSL.” said Woolfe.

Woolfe has set up an e-petition which he hopes will put pressure on the makers of Newsround to begin to provide sign language interpeted versions, which is now approaching 1000 signatures.

He has also made two example clips, which can be seen on the petition page. You can sign it by clicking here.

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Posted in: deaf news