FOCUS AREA ONE
Focus Area One: Broadcasting Accessibility Fund (Part Two)
Deepening Your Understanding
The Broadcasting Accessibility Fund considers initiatives that meet guidelines for eligible streams of funding that increase accessibility to broadcast media content in Canada. Proposals for technical research and development, business innovation, education and a combination of all three have been considered for funding since 2015 (Broadcasting Accessibility Fund, 2016).
Technical research and development includes research into methods of reducing costs for accessible content and development and introduction of new digital technologies for accessible content. In 2015, Rogers Communication received a grant of $140,000.00 for research on the development of mechanisms to assist blind and low vision users to discover and consume video content. The CBC was granted $61,953.00 in 2016 for the development of innovative speech-to-text conversion technology that will be used to post daily transcripts of As It Happens to cbc.ca as well as a new online media player that will allow audiences to listen while they read along. The education stream includes the development of curriculum in broadcasting accessibility and in 2015, Mohawk College received $80,000.00 for the development of mandatory training for journalism students to produce accessible content across all platforms. The Faculty of Media & Creative Arts at Humber College received $130,900.00 in 2016 to create this course, Making Accessible Media: Accessible Design in Broadcast Media (Broadcasting Accessibility Fund, 2016).
Other projects that have been funded include research by Captioning Consumers Advocacy Alliance that measures subjective preferences for live closed captioning among different users and research by the Canadian Hearing Society of practical recommendations on making emergency broadcasting accessible along with the development of an accessible emergency broadcasting toolkit for Deaf and hard of hearing consumers (Broadcasting Accessibility Fund, 2016).