Itzhak Rabin's Funeral Broadcast was not Accessible to the Deaf

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I wrote the following article shortly after the end of the TV broadcast of Itzhak Rabin's funeral, ten years ago. Ten years later, more attention is given to the issue of accessibility, so Itzhak Rabin's memorial event of Nov. 12th, 2005 was more accessible to the Deaf.

First of all, I wish to present condolances to the Rabin family and everyone else, who was touched by Itzhak Rabin's murder.

Secondly, I want to make all of you aware of the spitting in the face which I received, as Deaf, from the Israeli Broadcasting Authority and from the 2nd channel authority.

They invested lots of money in preparing and deploying all those cameramen, film editors, etc. to cover Rabin's funeral and the speeches of the leaders.

Yet they were not aware of the need to make the information accessible to the 5500 profoundly and totally deaf in Israel. They did not add captions to the speeches (I realize this is difficult in live broadcasts), they did not add Sign Language interpretation (possible in live broadcasts), and to add insult to injury, they didn't even add as subtitles the names of the speakers.

So when people spoke next to Rabin's coffin, I couldn't even know who were the less famous ones. I knew that the crying young woman was Rabin's granddaughter, but it was only because I guessed - not because it was captioned on the TV screen.

If something like this happens again to Israel, I urge and appeal to anyone who can make difference not to put us aside again, to let the 5500 Deaf of Israel participate fully in the life of Israel.

We the 5500 Deaf want to celbrate with you, we want to cry with you, we want to live with you, we want to communicate with you. Without IBA being aware of this and accommodating of our needs, we cannot fully participate in the life of Israel.

Thank you for listening to us this time.

Last update date: 
2005 Nov 14