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Described Video Best Practices and Guidelines for the Canadian Broadcasting Industry

| Proposal No: 841

Bios & Handouts


  • Robert Pearson, Accessibility Officer, Accessible Media Inc.

Disability Area:          

Topic Area:                

Length of Session (in hours): 1-hrFormat: Lecture Expertise Level: All Levels Type of session: Not provided

Summary of Session

Accessible Media Inc. (AMI) along with representatives from the Canadian Association of Broadcasters, cable distributors and providers, private for-profit description houses and community advocacy groups have created an agreed upon set of Described Video Best Practices for the Canadian broadcasting industry.


Outlined in a series of artistic and technical guidelines, the intent of these best practices is to bring consistency to the provision of description in Canada. The artistic guidelines divide major topics into relevant categories, with recommendations and techniques to provide direction to those writing description. The technical guidelines provide direction to those creating the final product of post-production description by detailing best practice protocols to be followed. With input from industry as well as through public consultation and review by academic institution representatives, community advocacy groups and the AMI Research Panel representing hundreds of blind and low vision Canadians, these best practices will work towards good quality description being available in Canada. They can now be utilized as a model for the provision of description in any jurisdiction internationally and will be made available to organizations such as the ISO, the ITU and others for that purpose.


  1. Methods for the standardization of described video (audio description)
  2. Accessibility regulations within the Canadian broadcasting industry
  3. Accessible Media Inc’s (AMI) unique broadcast services (AMI-tv and AMI-audio)

Speaker Bio(s)

Robert Pearson

Robert is the Accessibility Officer for Accessible Media Inc. (AMI) in Canada and has been functioning, influencing, and engaging in the accessibility industry since 1999. Robert joined AMI in April, 2011 as Director, Accessible Digital Media responsible for leading AMI's efforts to improve the accessibility of digital media, develop and manage AMI's relationships with likeminded and accessibility focused organizations and to liaise with the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission on various initiatives. In his role as Accessibility Officer, Robert's focus is on establishing and maintaining AMI as a leader and standard bearer on media accessibility by setting and influencing accessibility standards and best practices, shaping organization policies and practices and encouraging the development of technology and industry solutions that contribute to creating an inclusive environment within AMI and with their external partners.