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or having to explain themselves."

       Featured Image Credit: SWNS





                                     TECHNOLOGY ADVANCES


       Progress report for accessible broadcasting in South Africa by convener Elza-
       Lynne Kruger.

       Since the last Accessible Broadcasting Sub-committee report in November 2017, the
       subcommittee has continued its active engagement with and in most instances
       submissions to, the following authorities: ICASA; SABC; Sentech; CSIR; Departments of
       Communications, Basic Education; Higher Education, Trade and Industry (Copyright Act);
       the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Communications and the Working Group’s
       Inclusive Education and Accessible Transport sub-committees and commercial broadcaster
       DSTV.

       The sub-committee has seen active engagement with and participation by its members
       from the following non-profit entities: SANCB (South African National Council For The
       Blind); Tape Aids For The Blind (Education Outreach initiatives: Talking e-Books and Hear-
       to-Read for Early Childhood Development); Blind SA (Copyright Amendment Act) and
       Digital Networks (a non-profit chaired by Thembeka Khaka who is also the DRM (Digital
       Radio Mondiale) Africa representative) who are busy establishing Digital Shortwave Radio
       transmission solutions across the African Continent together with the introduction of their
       robust iAfrica digital radio receiver for rural conditions (embedded solar panel overcomes
       electricity supply issues and associated costs).

       The Accessible Broadcasting sub-committee is committed to providing 4th Industrial
       Revolution (4IR) solutions that are beneficial for education, food security and socio-
       economic development as well as providing an alternative medium for audio described
       sound tracks. Converging broadcasting and broadband and also using DRMs interactive
       shortwave digital radio technologies to bridge the digital divide, not only for the benefit of
       persons with disabilities but also for the benefit of millions of disadvantaged persons living
       in rural communities. Specifically broadcasting via dedicated multilingual Digital Radio
       Education Channels, “Schools of the Air” and “Farm Radio” transmitting both voice and
       data in the form of text and images (DRM’s Journaline) as well as permitting scholars to
       stop, rewind and record live broadcasts. Also providing Talking e-books (spoken word
       versions of text books available in the universal standard mp3 audio files as well as DAISY
       formats for the blind) for downloading via school libraries or free Wi-Fi hotspots at schools
       and shopping malls (only for teachers, students and small scale farmers with login codes).
       The sub-committee has also responded to commentary and queries raised by public
       forums, individuals, SEOs and regulators regarding the migration to Digital TV and Digital
       Radio, the introduction of Audio Description as well as the introduction of multiple mother
       tongue language transmissions, South African Sign Language interpretation and the use of
       ICT broadcasting in Education. Digital sound broadcasting is an ideal platform free of data
       downloading costs for distance learning into remote regions as well as those in rural areas
       with little or no income. Broadcasting overcomes the lack of broadband connectivity in
       remote regions. Providing universal access for lessons and information directly into
                    Web: www.sancb.org.za Address: 514 White Street, Bailey's Muckleneuk, Pretoria Email:frm@sancb.org.za   7
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