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.

ASL video version of text follows.

What's Happening

Spring/Summer 2018

New Staff at the Fund!

The Broadcasting Accessibility Fund (the Fund) is pleased to announce its new Project Coordinator, Alena Wickware. Alena officially started in January 2018 and brings five years of Project Management expereince to the role. Alena monitors all current projects, assists with the administration of the Core Grant Program and carries out other special initiatives. Welcome Alena!

 

Call for Letters of Intent – Fourth Round – Closed

The Broadcasting Accessibility Fund (the Fund) held its fourth Call for Letters of Intent earlier this year. This is the first step in the process of applying for a grant from the Fund. Our next Call for Letters of Intent will be launched February 1, 2019.

Follow the links How to Apply and Call for Letters. Potential applicants are expected to review our Mandate and to describe how the proposed project or initiative will further the objectives of the Fund’s Mandate.

 

Board of Directors - New Members

At the AGM held June 15, 2018 the Fund welcomed four new members to the Board of Directors: Soo Kim (Broadcasting Industry), Charlene Caines (Independent Accessibility Director), Marcia Yale (Sight Group) and Gordon Fletcher (Cognitive Group). A huge thanks to outgoing members Heather Boyce, Chris Stark, Charles Laszlo and Bill Roberts who made an indelible mark on the Fund's development and initiatives!

 

Third Round Grant Awards

The Fund will be announcing the successful Third Round applications to the Fund shortly. Approximately $500,000 in new grant money will be distributed, bringing the total funding commitment through three rounds of funding to just under $2M. Announcements on the new projects, and on the results of projects completed to date, coming soon!

 

Raising Capital for the Fund

The Fund's original capital amount was $5.7M, to be dedicated to grants and limited amount of operational expenses through approximately five years of activity. At the current rate of grants and administrative costs, the Fund will exhaust its current resources in 2020-21. Given the exceptional quality of projects and results to date, the Fund will be launching a Capital Growth Strategy in the near future. Details will be available soon, but suggestions are welcome anytime! Please contact Richard Cavanagh, richard@baf-far.ca.