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Disney star introduces accessibility feeds for ICC Men’s T20 WC 2024

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New Delhi: Disney Star, in collaboration with India Signing Hands (ISH), announces the introduction of Indian Sign Language (ISL) and audio descriptive feeds for the upcoming ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, commencing on June 2.

This initiative, unveiled on Global Accessibility Awareness Day, aims to cater to deaf, hard-of-hearing, and visually impaired cricket enthusiasts, making the sport more immersive and accessible than ever before.

For the first time in the history of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, viewers will have the option to access ISL and audio descriptive commentary during ten matches, including all India matches, semi-finals, and finals. Disney+ Hotstar, along with the Star Sports Network, will host these feeds, marking a significant milestone in live cricket broadcasting.

The Hon’ble Minister of Information & Broadcasting and Youth Affairs & Sports, Government of India, Shri Anurag Singh Thakur, commends this initiative, emphasising the government’s commitment to fostering an inclusive society.

Head of Disney+ Hotstar India, Sajith Sivanandan, expresses excitement about embracing accessibility features, highlighting the platform’s dedication to promoting inclusivity and serving all users.

Sanjog Gupta, Head of Sports at Disney Star, reflects on the overwhelming response received during the Tata IPL 2024 with similar accessibility features, emphasising the company’s mission to remove barriers of access and engagement for fans from all backgrounds.

Alok Kejriwal, Founder and CEO of India Signing Hands (ISH News), shares his confidence that this initiative will open doors to the exciting world of cricket for many more individuals from the deaf and visually impaired communities, echoing the sentiment that this collaboration makes the sport truly accessible and inclusive.

The ISL feed will feature comprehensive ball-by-ball updates with the presence of a translator on the live stream, while the audio descriptive feed will utilise voice-over technology to render text and images into speech output, facilitating easy navigation for visually impaired users on the Disney+ Hotstar app.

With an estimated 63 million deaf and 40 million visually impaired individuals in India, according to the World Health Organisation, the need for inclusive entertainment is undeniable.

After the successful introduction of these features during the 2024 season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) on Star Sports Network, Disney Star is extending this accessibility to all India matches, semi-finals, and finals of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, providing users with the freedom to choose between Disney+ Hotstar and Star Sports Network for their viewing convenience.

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