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 six cycles of grant awards, supporting 34 projects with a total of $3.7M 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

Round 7 Grant recipients to be announced on December 3rd 2021!

Stay tuned for the announcement of the seventh round of projects supported by the Broadcasting Accessibility Fund (the Fund), in celebration of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on December 3rd 2021!

The Fund's Grant Committee was very impressed by the high-quality applications received this year, and are looking forward to announcing this year's grant recipients shortly.

Keep an eye on the Fund's website and twitter account for more information.

 

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

The Broadcasting Accessibility Fund (the Fund) has supported 34 projects over six rounds of funding with a total commitment of $3.7M, 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 

 

2021 Federal Elections

The Broadcasting Accessibility Fund offers its congratulations to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the incoming government on its re-election, and looks forward to working with Members of Parliament, staff and officials on the continuing advancement of accessibility to broadcasting content across multiple platforms.

 

CRTC updates Broadcasting and Telecommunications Regulations to conform with the Accessible Canada Act

On July 7 2021, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) published new regulations that will help make more information available to Canadians about the accessibility of broadcasting and telecommunications services.

Under the Accessible Canada Act, broadcasters and television and telecommunications service providers are required to publish accessibility plans and progress reports. They must also create a process to receive feedback about accessibility issues from members of the public.

To find more information about these important regulations, visit the CRTC’s website.

 

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!