CRTC approves proposal to establish a Broadcasting Accessibility Fund
Today, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications CommissionÂ (CRTC) approved BCEâ€™s proposal to establish a Broadcasting AccessibilityÂ Fund. This independent fund will support initiatives to improve access toÂ the Canadian broadcasting system by persons with disabilities.â€śCanadians with disabilities should be able to access broadcasting contentÂ using the latest technologies, applications and services,â€ť saidÂ Jean-Pierre Blais, Chairman of the CRTC. â€śThe new fund will serve as a
catalyst for the development of innovative solutions and help ensure theÂ needs of persons with disabilities are taken into consideration at theÂ design stage.â€ť
When BCE purchased CTVglobemedia in 2011, it committed $5.7 million toÂ create an independent Broadcasting Accessibility Fund. The companyÂ subsequently presented a proposal to the CRTC. Â Different groupsÂ representing persons with disabilities were consulted and provided theirÂ comments through an open consultation process.
The fund will support accessibility projects that are supplementary to theÂ CRTCâ€™s existing regulatory obligations for the broadcasting industry.Â This could include accessibility initiatives for online and mobileÂ programming services. The CRTC is requiring that the fund provide servicesÂ and publish documents (such as application forms, policies, and annualÂ reports) in both official languages.
The Broadcasting Accessibility Fund will begin accepting applications byÂ December 5, 2012.
Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2012-430
News release, â€śCRTC approves BCEâ€™s purchase of CTVglobemedia,â€ť March 7,Â 2011
Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2011-163