Frustrated deaf people plan to protest a refusal by television networks to use sign language interpreters in televised political leaders' debates.
A petition signed by 2000 people was delivered to TVNZ last week asking for an interpreter during the live political debates, but it and MediaWorks have rebuffed the plea. Protest organiser Kim Robinson says a group would protest outside TVNZ's central Auckland studios immediately before Friday's live debate, featuring potential coalition leaders, goes to air.
They aimed to draw attention to the lack of sign language interpreter access during the election debates. Mr Robinson said TVNZ told them they would not add sign language interpreters because of technical and logistics issues. An email from the network's chief executive Ken Kendrick restated TVNZ would not add interpreters to the debates.
But Mr Robinson said nothing stops the broadcasters from translating the election debates on live television. "They have effectively done it in the past with Mitre 10 Dream Home. Countries like France often have [an] interpreter on their TV election debates."
She said TVNZ was able to do it but simply refused to. Mr Robinson said it was important for the country's 20,000-strong deaf community to know what was said in the debates.
ATR: The UK hasn't made parliament accessible either, it has a dedicated channel with no access for the deaf. Only devolved aspects of governance have partial access on youtube, currently running at less than point 1%.
NOTE: What is the 'Mushroom Syndrome ?' We're all kept in the dark and fed bullshit !