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T20 World Cup announces sign language, audio description broadcasts

For the first time ever, the broadcasters will offer an Indian Sign Language (ISL) feed alongside an audio descriptive commentary. This innovative move aims to make the cricketing extravaganza truly accessible to a wider audience.

News Arena Network - New Delhi - UPDATED: May 16, 2024, 01:20 AM - 3 mins read

Preparations for the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium in East Meadow, New York are in full swing as the installation of the pitches, a pivotal aspect of stadium construction, commences ahead of the upcoming T20 World Cup series scheduled for June.

T20 World Cup announces sign language, audio description broadcasts

Preparations for the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium in East Meadow, New York are in full swing as the installation of the pitches, a pivotal aspect of stadium construction, commences ahead of the upcoming T20 World Cup series scheduled for June.


Cricket is about to get a whole lot more inclusive. The upcoming T20 World Cup in the Americas will be a landmark event for hearing and visually impaired fans in India, thanks to a special broadcasting initiative by Disney+ Hotstar and Star Sports Network.

 

For the first time ever, the broadcasters will offer an Indian Sign Language (ISL) feed alongside an audio descriptive commentary. This innovative move aims to make the cricketing extravaganza truly accessible to a wider audience.

 

The special feed will cover 10 key matches, including all India fixtures, the semi-finals, and the grand finale. This ensures that die-hard Indian fans with disabilities won't miss out on the action.

 

Hailing the initiative, Minister of Information and Broadcasting and Youth Affairs and Sports, Anurag Thakur, emphasised the government's commitment to inclusivity. He expressed his belief that this will significantly enhance the viewing experience for millions of differently-abled cricket enthusiasts.

 

"The Government of India is committed to creating an inclusive society and I strongly believe that this initiative will enhance the viewing experience for millions of differently-abled sports enthusiasts," he said in a press release.

 

The platform becomes the first OTT service in India to offer live cricket with an ISL feed. 

 

Sajith Sivanandan, Head of Disney+ Hotstar India, reiterated the platform's dedication to inclusivity and accessibility. He highlighted how these enhancements aim to ensure that the excitement of cricket transcends all barriers.

 

"This underscores our commitment to promote inclusivity and serve all users. With these enhancements, we aim to ensure that the excitement of cricket knows no bounds," Sivanandan said.

 

Sanjog Gupta, Head of Disney Star (Sports), said the innovation has got good response in the ongoing IPL.

 

"Our mission of serving sports fans is powered by such pioneering initiatives which seek to remove barriers of access and engagement for fans from all walks of life. The initiative also serves to present a more inclusive picture of India's favourite sport and is of immense pride for the sporting fraternity," he said.

 

He further lauded the initiative for presenting a more inclusive picture of India's favourite sport, a development that brings immense pride to the sporting fraternity.

 

The ISL feed will feature a dedicated translator who will provide a sign-language interpretation of the match's on-field action, offering a ball-by-ball update for deaf viewers. For visually impaired fans, the audio descriptive feed will be enriched with voice-over technology. This technology can convert text and visuals displayed on screen into an audio output, creating a rich and immersive commentary experience.

 

Alok Kejriwal, Founder and CEO of India Signing Hands, a non-profit organisation advocating for equal opportunities for the deaf community, applauded the move. 

 

He expressed confidence that it will open doors to the captivating world of cricket for countless deaf and visually impaired individuals.

 

With an estimated 6.3 crore deaf and 4 crore visually impaired people in India, according to the World Health Organisation, this move has the potential to revolutionise the way cricket is experienced by a significant segment of the population. 

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