Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation's (KAN) digital department is expanding its accessibility services, making the news broadcast more user friendly for people with disabilities.
Starting this past Monday, the 20:00 main edition has been made accessible to various populations through the KAN News YouTube channel. The move is part of a partnership between KAN and the Ruderman Family Foundation, which promotes inclusion of people with disabilities in society. It was triggered by the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, and the need to provide ongoing, trust-worthy news updates to various populations in Israel.
The new partnership will see the KAN News' YouTube channel broadcast the main news with adjustments for viewers with disabilities. The screen will be split between the anchor and a translator to sign language, making it easier for the hearing impaired to follow. Additionally, there will be text simplification, with slower annunciation and simple language. This is being done to ensure viewers with cognitive disabilities, as well as the elderly, new immigrants and other populations can understand. The text simplification will be implemented by Agudat Ami, a non-governmental initiative that provides services for people with intellectual disabilities.
The accessible news will be available every evening, at 20:00 (Israel time) through the KAN News YouTube channel, as well as on the KAN website and smartphone apps. Once it has been aired, it can be watched at any hour of the day.
This latest move to increase accessibility to news and critical information for marginalized groups in Israel follows initiatives from the Prime Minister's Office to reach the Arab and haredi sectors in recent weeks. For the Arab sector, the Health Ministry is providing updates in Arabic and for the haredi, the military’s Home Front Command is operating a municipal call center connecting residents with the Health Ministry. ZAKA has also dispatched volunteers to spread information on how to contain the virus in their communities.
Elad Tene, deputy director responsible for KAN's digital operation said: "Especially during an emergency, all Israel's citizens want to be updated about the continuous news and changing regulations. The Public Broadcaster sees its mission as giving everyone access to its content, and the digital department is proud to use technology to make the main broadcast more accessible to various populations. Slow and simple is access."
Shira Ruderman, Director of the Ruderman Family Foundation: "Accessibility is always important, all the more so at times like these, when millions of Israelis are confined to their houses and watching their screens. Investing in news broadcasts, in media and content available to all parts of Israeli society, should be obvious in Israel 2020. I am proud of our partnership with the Public Broadcaster, who seized the initiative. Together, we are taking a big step towards a more equal and inclusive society."