The Accessible Channel
On July 27th 2007, The National Broadcast Reading Service (NBRS) received approval from the CRTC for a licence to operate a national, English-language digital specialty described-video programming undertaking to be known as The Accessible Channel - TACtv. The channel was also approved for mandatory distribution on digital basic by satellite and most cable services. The channel was launched to provide an open-format program service for the blind - for whom the action on the screen would be described - and for the hard of hearing, who would be able to see captioning of the dialogue or narration on their screens. Hitherto, the only way sight-impaired viewers with basic cable had been able to receive described programming was by accessing the S.A.P (Secondary Audio Programming) settings, which required the following of on-screen prompts which themselves were difficult if not impossible to read. On December 3rd 2008, TACtv was launched throughout Canada, featuring program series, movies and specials from CanWest, Rogers, Citytv, CBC and CTV, and was welcomed by an estimated 6.6 million vision- and hearing-restricted Canadians. On February 6th 2009, TACtv received approval for its service to be made available in high definition (HD) format. In 2010, the National Broadcast Reading Service was renamed Accessible Media Inc. (AMI). TAC was renamed AMI-tv on January 30, 2012. VoicePrint became AMI-audio on March 5, 2012. AMI launched a French-language channel (AMI-télé) on December 16, 2014. The CRTC had approved the application for the new channel on August 8, 2013.