The Accessible Channel

Canada’s National Broadcast Reading Service (NBRS) was just granted a broadcast licence for a specialty service called The Accessible Channel.  NBRS is a not-for-profit entity with a mandate to enhance media access for an estimated 4.5 million Canadians who are blind or visually impaired.  NBRS won out after laying out a solid business plan and research that convinced the CRTC that blind and visually impaired Canadians need adequate access to popular television programming.  TV is, as Bob Trimbee (NBRS’s president) puts it, “today’s modern literature.”

The future for people with disabilities in media is starting to take shape.  But for now NBRS has some major gearing up to do to prepare The Accessible Channel for its 2008 launch. It must appoint a board of directors, hire staff, negotiate rights for the most popular programming it can get in various genres, and get its described video versioning and closed-captioning systems ready for takeoff. 

Reminds me of our efforts here in the U.S. at [with]tv

Original article available online: http://www.playbackmag.com/articles/magazine/20070903/accessible.html?page=1