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Mindful of reaching more audience online and being inclusive, the Institute for Labor Studies (ILS) has made Filipino Sign Language (FSL) insets and closed captioning as key features in its webinars, piloting it in its sixth and seventh installments on mental health and universal basic income, respectively.

The ILS webinar series, “Revive & Thrive: Actions for creating a decent future of work amid and beyond COVID-19,” was crafted and started in September of this year, with the aim of taking the public discourse on post-pandemic recovery to new frontiers. The Institute recognized the need to take bolder actions to revive what has been lost or damaged—and to thrive on a decent future of work built on the principles of resilience, equity, justice and solidarity.

The FSL has been declared as the national sign language of the Filipino deaf under Republic Act 11106 or “The Filipino Sign Language Act,” signed into law by President Rodrigo Duterte in November 2018. It is also the official sign language of government in all transactions involving the deaf and its use for the deaf in schools, broadcast media. On the other hand, closed captioning or subtitling involves displaying text on a television, video screen, or other visual display to provide additional or interpretive information for the viewers. The said features have been designed particularly to cater to Hard-of-Hearing and deaf webinar participants.

The first ILS webinar that incorporated FSL insets and closed captioning feature was “Between Resilience & Transformation: Understanding Workers-powered Mental Health Care in the Philippines,” where the keynote message was delivered by Senator Risa Hontiveros. The livestreamed video for the said webinar has reached 11,384 unique Facebook users and has been viewed more than four thousand times.

The second webinar that had the said features was “In Pursuit of a Just Society: Introducing Wage Subsidies and Basic Income Guarantees in the Philippines,” with its Facebook live stream gaining more than two thousand views.

Both webinars are aptly under the theme “Advancing Workers’ Rights and Welfare Through Human-centered Systems and Institutions.”

To view the said recorded webinars with closed captioning and Filipino Sign Language features, please go to these links: