25
July
2019

The 5th ASEAN SOMRI Working Group on ASEAN Digital Broadcasting: Pushing Forward Accessibility to Information through Digital Media for the Disabled

25
July
2019

The 5th ASEAN SOMRI Working Group on ASEAN Digital Broadcasting: Pushing Forward Accessibility to Information through Digital Media for the Disabled

487

The Government Public Relations Department of Thailand, as the current chair of the ASEAN SOMRI Working Group on ASEAN Digital Broadcasting, is organizing the 5th Meeting of the ASEAN SOMRI Working Group on ASEAN Digital Broadcasting on 25-26 July 2019 at the Amari Watergate Hotel Bangkok. ASEAN delegates responsible for television and radio digital broadcasting, policy, and regulation will be attending the meeting to discuss important issues on digital broadcasting in the region.

During the meeting, Thailand, as the chair of the working group, will propose the concept papers for two initiatives: (i) Policy Proposal on Accessibility for All and (ii) Digital Radio Guideline Handbook. The policy on Accessibility for All will be proposed with the aim to maximize the accessibility of information through digital media for persons with disabilities, particularly the visual- and audio-impaired. The technologies of Closed Caption (CC) and Audio Description (AD) are the proposed services, apart from sign language, which has been widely conducted on several channels.

The initiative will extend the opportunities to access information, as well as to promote inclusiveness in society. Moreover, it will encourage ASEAN Member States to consider revising their regulations, codes of conduct, and marketing mechanisms in order to facilitate the service of digital television among persons with disabilities. The proposal will recommend the enhancement of capacity-building and the exchange of knowledge and information between ASEAN Member States and dialogue partners in terms of policy and production, for which Thailand proposed itself as the country coordinator.

In addition, ASEAN Member States will update the current status of the digital broadcasting system in their country, such as the analog switch-off and digital television roll-out, and will discuss the progress of broadcasting technology and services, information dissemination through online platform. The reports of completed projects will also be shared at the meeting, namely ASEAN-Japan Next Generation Broadcasting Systems and the ASEAN-Japan Workshop to Promote Authorised Online Distribution of Broadcasting Content.

The ASEAN SOMRI Working Group on ASEAN Digital Broadcasting is a working group under the Senior Officials Responsible for Information, in which all Member States are tasked to exchange information and to develop broadcasting technology with the same standard, which will enhance people’s quality of life and lead to economic and social development. For example, the initiative on technical specification will reduce the market cost of the receivers throughout the region.

This year will conclude Thailand’s role as the working group’s chair, which is a two-year term. The next chairmanship, for 2020-2021, will be assumed by Vietnam.