Supporting innovative solutions for accessibility to broadcasting content in Canada

Broadcasting Accessibility Fund

As broadcasting content becomes widely available across many platforms – televisions, computers, phones – it is critical to ensure that persons with disabilities are provided with the practical and technical means to access this content.

The Broadcasting Accessibility Fund (the Fund) was established for this purpose.

The first of its kind in the world, the Fund is an independent and impartial funding body that will provide grants for innovative projects that will advance accessibility to broadcasting content in Canada.

The Fund anticipates that project proposals will address a range of accessibility needs, and encourages project submissions from a variety of applicants. Those that propose new technologies and applications are expected to employ inclusive design, which sees accessibility built in at the earliest possible stage of its development.

The Fund will support projects that work to advance accessibility to content across all platforms, and contribute to a model for innovation that will establish Canada as an international leader in broadcasting accessibility.

Our CEO/Funding Officer works in close collaboration with the Board of Directors, and in particular with a Grant Committee of the Board that will review all funding applications and make recommendations to the Board for final approval of projects.

The Fund was created as part of the tangible benefits package associated with BCE’s acquisition of CTVglobemedia. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) approved its creation together with initial funding of $5.7M.

The Fund has completed eight cycles of grant awards, supporting 41 projects with a total of $4.4M of funding committed to addressing ongoing gaps in broadcasting accessibility.

Grants are provided incrementally, based on the progress of a project, and are tied to binding Project Management Agreements negotiated by the Fund and the grant recipient.

Grant recipients are required to provided financial reporting, and abide by the Fund’s established criteria for the appropriate use of all monies.

As the Fund is public in nature, grant recipients are contractually required to share the results of their work, and provide non-proprietary access to software and other products resulting from initiatives supported by the Fund.

To learn more about the projects the Fund has supported, see our completed and continuing projects via the following links below (available as an interactive PDF or a screen-reader accessible document).

PDF version: Presentation - Meeting the Challenge - Project Summary.pdf

Accessible version: Presentation - Meeting the Challenge - Project Summary.doc

 

What's Happening

The Fund announces three new projects in the eighth round of grant funding!

The Broadcasting Accessibility Fund (the Fund) announced today that it will award $398,016 to three new, innovative projects designed to advance accessibility to broadcasting content.  To learn about these new projects, read the full Press Release here: https://www.baf-far.ca/en/news-releases

To date, the Fund has provided approximately $4.4M over eight rounds of funding committed to addressing ongoing gaps in broadcasting content accessibility. You can read about the projects we’ve funded and the results they’ve achieved: Presentation - Meeting the Challenge - Appendix of Projects.pdf

The Fund congratulates this round’s grant recipients and is excited to work with these groundbreaking leaders in broadcasting accessibility in the coming months! Stay tuned for the Fund’s announcement of the next Call for Letters of Intent, the first step in our application process, in February 2023.

 

B.C. Liberal Stephanie Cadieux appointed federal post as Chief Accessibility Officer

Today, the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Karina Gould, announced the appointment of Stephanie Cadieux as the first Chief Accessibility Officer (CAO) for a term of four years.

Serving as a special advisor to the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, the CAO will provide advice on wide-ranging accessibility issues, and will monitor and report on progress made under the Accessible Canada Act. 

For more information about this appointment, see the News Release from Employment and Social Development Canada: https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/news/2022/04/canadas-first-chief-accessibility-officer.html

 

Learn more about the Broadcasting Accessibility Fund’s completed projects!

The Broadcasting Accessibility Fund (the Fund) has supported 41 projects over eight rounds of funding with a total commitment of $4.4M, each project making significant headway on advancing accessibility to broadcasting content in Canada.

Grant recipients are required to maintain regular reporting, to share the results of their work, and provide non-proprietary access to software and other products resulting from initiatives supported by the Fund.

The results of these completed projects, including Final Reports and relevant links to online content, are now available on our Results page: https://www.baf-far.ca/en/results

All reports are posted in the language of origin, French language reports and links can be found on the Résultats page: https://www.baf-far.ca/fr/r%C3%A9sultats 

 

Follow the Fund on Twitter!

You can now follow real-time updates from the Broadcasting Accessibility Fund on Twitter. Follow @Broadcast_Fund, and stay on top of the latest news!