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Is AMI becoming the new CNIB of our lives?

Is AMI becoming the new CNIB in our lives, somewhat more open to our input than CNIB ever has been it is true, but yet another huge separate empire that is considered the source of expertise on blindness and all matters concerning accessing described programming?

I have believed from its inception that its very presence would and will be used by regular broadcasters and the CRTC to drag their feet, push back, or sluff our aspirations over to AMI, to slow down progress. Nothing has changed my views.

Its very size and scope makes it far too easy for private and public broadcasters to bypass consumer organizations such as the AEBC and others, and rely far too much on AMI. This greatly reduces the impact that consumers, the real experts, get to have in this important aspect of our lives.

Disclaimer:

This blog is curated by the AEBC, but welcomes contributions from members and non-members alike. The thoughts, views, and opinions expressed in the Blind Canadians Blog are those of the contributing authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the AEBC, its members, or any of its donors and partners.

Comments

I don’t agree with the comments that John Rae posted and though everyone has a right to speak their mind, AMI has not ignored us, like Anthony Tibbs posted, John has not based his comments with facts.

I didn’t like the idea of one accessible channel either, but we work with what we have!

And could it be, that the advocates within our community are not advocating strongly enough, could it be that we expect to always be asked about what we want, instead of exerting more energy, time to advocate? Maybe we are busy doing the wrong things! Or we don’t organize ourselves well consistently. Maybe we should accept a part of the reason why things are going rather slowly.
What would you suggest AMI do about the fact that other broadcasters do not put enough resources into making their programs accessible?

Can you provide any concrete example or situation in which this claim holds true?

My experience (both personally and from the perspective of AEBC, given our involvement in these projects) has been quite different. The CRTC and broadcasters have not merely gone to AMI for advice when it has come to the development of the Described Video Best Practices documents (http://www.ami.ca/media-accessibility/Pages/Described-Video-Best-Practic...). While AMI chaired the committee that developed these guidelines, representation from a number of consumer organizations was also solicited in the process and, in my view, made a meaningful difference to the final outcome.

There is no evidence, so far as I am aware, that the CRTC has deferred to or otherwise relied on AMI for such expertise or assistance. There is no evidence, so far as I am aware, that other broadcasters have elected to delay the implementation of new DV programming, or cited AMI as a justification for failing to do so.

Moreover, over the past few years, the CRTC has mandated DV requirements on more Canadian broadcasters than before, and is increasingly making DV and AD requirements a condition of license for broadcasters.

Of course, we always wish that the pace were faster and the results greater. But I do not see how the presence of AMI could be seen to have hampered this. They have, from what I have observed, worked alongside other broadcasters to increase awareness (at both a functional and technical level) of "how to do it well".

What, precisely, gives you a different impression?

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