US foundation teams up with Kan channel to provide accessible coronavirus news

Ruderman Family Foundation supporting nightly news broadcasts with prominent sign language interpreter, voice-overs in simple, slowly enunciated Hebrew

Sue Surkes is The Times of Israel's environment reporter.

Screenshot from a Kan TV news broadcast in which the language is simplified. Note the logo in the upper right hand corner.
Screenshot from a Kan TV news broadcast in which the language is simplified. Note the logo in the upper right hand corner.

A US charitable foundation is teaming up with the Kan public broadcaster to offer nightly broadcasts adapted for people with special needs and language difficulties.

Available in Hebrew only, on Kan’s website, application or YouTube channel, the adapted news is broadcast at the same time as the regular news — 8 p.m. each evening. The version for the hard of hearing, carrying a logo of two little hands in the upper right-hand corner, devotes a third of the screen to a person translating into sign language. A separate broadcast, with a logo of a head wearing earphones, provides voice-overs in simple language, spoken slowly.

Funded by the Ruderman Family Foundation, the parallel news broadcasts aim at helping the hearing impaired, as well as those for whom the regular news broadcast might be too fast, such as elderly people, new immigrants, and people with cognitive disability.

The voice-overs are provided by experts from the Israeli Institute for Cognitive Accessibility at the Ono Academic College in central Israel.

Screenshot of Kan TV broadcast with a sign language interpreter in prominent position. Note the logo in the top right hand corner for these broadcasts for the hearing impaired.

According to Kan, thousands of people tune into the alternative broadcast each night.

Similarly adapted broadcasts were also run during the Eurovision Song Contest and the last two rounds of Israeli elections.

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