CRTC Launches Consultations to Ensure Programming is Accessible to All Canadians

From: Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission

News release
June 25, 2024 – Ottawa-Gatineau – Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC)

The CRTC is taking another step forward in the implementation of the Online Streaming Act (formerly Bill C-11).

Today, the CRTC is launching two public consultations to help ensure broadcasters, including online streaming services, offer programming that is accessible to persons with disabilities.

Closed captioning assists persons who are Deaf or hard of hearing, while described video and audio description assist persons who are blind or partially sighted. The CRTC is seeking feedback on how broadcasters and online streaming services can better meet the needs of Canadians who use these services to enjoy their favourite programming.

The CRTC is now accepting comments and interested parties can participate by:

filling out the online form for closed captioning and the online form for described video and audio description; writing to the Secretary General, CRTC, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0N2; or sending a fax to 819-994-0218.
Canadians can also submit their comments in American Sign Language or Langue des signes quebEcoise by filing a link to their sign-language videos using the online form. Canadians who wish to request accommodations to facilitate their participation or require assistance submitting their comments can contact the CRTC’s Public Hearings group at hearing@crtc.gc.ca.

All comments and sign-language video transcripts will form part of the public record and will inform the CRTC’s decision.

As a quasi-judicial tribunal, the CRTC will continue to balance consulting widely with moving quickly to build the new regulatory framework.

Quotes

“All Canadians deserve access to the programming they enjoy and the information they rely on. We look forward to hearing a diversity of perspectives and we encourage everyone to participate.”

– Vicky Eatrides, Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer, CRTC

Quick facts

The CRTC is an independent quasi-judicial tribunal that regulates the Canadian communications sector in the public interest. The CRTC holds public consultations on telecommunications and broadcasting matters and makes decisions based on the public record.

The Online Streaming Act, which amended the Broadcasting Act, requires the CRTC to modernize the Canadian broadcasting framework.
Closed captioning enables persons who are Deaf or hard of hearing to have full access to audio-visual content by displaying what is being said and providing additional contextual information for the viewer by describing who is speaking, what music is playing, and other audible cues.

Described video and audio description enable persons who are blind or partially sighted to have full access to visual content.

Described video provides a narration of important visual details and information about actions, characters, scene changes and on-screen text that cannot be understood from the main soundtrack alone. Audio description is often used for information-based programming (including newscasts, weather reports, sports scores and financial data) and provides a voice-over description of key elements such as text and graphics that appear on the screen.

This consultation is aligned with the government’s policy direction that directs the CRTC to support the provision of programming that is accessible without barriers to persons with disabilities. It is the latest step in the CRTC’s efforts to improve accessibility and advance the principles of the Accessible Canada Act.

Contacts

Media Relations
media@crtc.gc.ca
819-997-9403

General Inquiries
819-997-0313
Toll-free 1-877-249-CRTC (2782)
TTY 819-994-0423

Original at https://www.canada.ca/en/radio-television-telecommunications/news/2024/06/crtc-launches-consultations-to-ensure-programming-is-accessible-to-all-canadians.html