AMI is a not-for-profit media company that entertains, informs and empowers Canadians who are blind or partially sighted. Operating three broadcast services, AMI-tv and AMI-audio in English and AMI-télé in French, AMI’s vision is to establish and support a voice for Canadians with disabilities, representing their interests, concerns and values through accessible media, reflection and portrayal.
AMI was established in 1989 as the National Broadcast Reading Service (NBRS) on the Canadian Parliament's Standing Committee of the Status of Disabled Persons. The committee's report, "No News is Bad News," stated that vision- and print-restricted Canadians must have equal access to published news and information.
In 1990, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) granted NBRS a licence for VoicePrint— a radio reading service; the service launched on December 1 that year. In 1995, NBRS launched AudioVision Canada to supply described video services to various film and television projects. In July 2007, the CRTC granted NBRS's licence application for The Accessible Channel, a national specialty channel which would air all of its programming with described video and closed captioning. The channel would launch in 2009.
To reflect its expansion beyond VoicePrint with the launch of The Accessible Channel, the National Broadcast Reading Service was renamed Accessible Media Inc. (AMI) in 2010. On January 30, 2012, as part of an effort to unify AMI's services under one brand for easier cross-promotion, TAC was renamed AMI-tv. VoicePrint followed suit on March 5, 2012, becoming AMI-audio. On June 21, 2012, Accessible Media launched the DV Guide—an online TV listings service that highlights programming across Canadian broadcasters which carry audio descriptions. In 2013, AMI-tv and AMI-audio licenses were renewed through 2018 and AMI was awarded a French television license. AMI's French channel, AMI-télé, launched in December 2014.
AMI operates three main broadcasting services, all of which must be carried on the basic tier of all digital television services in the country.
- AMI-tv and AMI-télé English- and French -language general entertainment specialty channels with open described video and closed captioning
- AMI-audio - an audio only television channel and online service offering both live original programming and readings from a selection of magazines and newspapers read by professional narrators
- "Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2007-246". Canadian Radio-television and Communications Commission.
- Accessible Channel Launches with "Open Format'; Broadcaster Magazine; 2008-12-01
- "Accessible Media Inc. rebrands world-leading broadcast reading service for Canadians with disabilities: VoicePrint now known as AMI-audio". Press release. AMI. Archived from the original on 1 January 2013. Retrieved 26 May 2012.
- AMI Launches TV Listing Service for the Blind, Broadcaster Magazine, June 21, 2012.
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