Ottawa, May 12, 2014 – The Broadcasting Accessibility Fund (BAF) today announced the appointment of Richard Cavanagh as its first CEO/Funding Officer.
“BAF is fortunate to have Richard come to us in this role, with his unique blend of experience in both the broadcasting industry and the accessibility sector,” said BAF Board of Directors Chair Allister Byrne. “Under his leadership, the BAF will be able to fully realize its potential to advance accessibility to broadcasting content for Canadians with disabilities.”
Richard is a seasoned professional with more than 20 years experience in the communications industries, and deep expertise in related public policy, project management, stakeholder relations and research. He has led and managed a number of important, original research initiatives on communications technology, accessibility and its future directions, and is considered to be among the leading experts in the field, both in Canada and internationally.
“I firmly believe that the BAF is the single most important opportunity to advance accessibility in Canadian broadcasting history,” said Richard. “The Fund is the first of its kind in the world and, as such, already represents an unparalleled and groundbreaking achievement.”
“There are considerable challenges at the point where broadcasting content, accessibility, the needs of users and evolving technology meet,” said Allister Byrne. “The BAF, under the guidance of Richard and our highly experienced Board of Directors, will play a pivotal role in addressing these challenges, on a course toward making Canadian broadcasting a leading model of accessibility, anywhere.”
The Broadcasting Accessibility Fund was established as an independent and impartial funding body supporting innovative projects to increase the accessibility of broadcasting content in Canada. The fund was created as part of the tangible benefits package associated with Bell Canada’s acquisition of CTV. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) approved its creation together with initial funding of $5.7M.
The BAF will be operational in the early summer 2014, with the first round of funding applications anticipated for the fall of 2014. The Grants Committee of the BAF Board will collaborate with Richard on making recommendations for project funding to the full Board of Directors.