Creating Described Video for Broadcast Media

Profile of Accessible Media Inc. (AMI) (Part One)


In this section, we will become familiar with Accessible Media Inc. (AMI), a not-for-profit multimedia organization serving more than five million Canadians who are blind, partially sighted, deaf, hard of hearing, mobility or print restricted. AMI’s mission is to make accessible media for all Canadians.

Originally called the National Broadcast Reading Service (NBRS), Accessible Media Inc. began in 1989 as a reading service that provided Canadians who were blind and who had low vision with audio versions of print news. They went on to launch the world’s first and only television network to broadcast all of their programs with open described video and closed captioning in 2008 (AMI, 2017).

Silhouette of a human face speaking

AMI’s role is to provide a mechanism for the blind and partially sighted population to consume broadcast television programming. All the programs they offer are 100% described, making them fully accessible to their audience. They operate three broadcast services, AMI-audio and AMI-tv in English and AMI-télé in French, along with two WCAG 2.0 compliant websites; and

Every project and initiative carried out by AMI is executed with the intention of increasing media accessibility and promoting inclusion. From a programming perspective, AMI makes media accessible by adding described video to acquired programming and integrated described video to its original content. AMI also contributes to creating guidelines for best practices so that other broadcasters and practitioners can create accessible products for their customers.

Please watch the video below for an introduction to Accessible Media Inc.