A NEW "POINT OF VIEW" ON THE LIFE OF THE BLIND ACCESSIBLE MEDIA INC., - AMI LAUNCHES CAMPAIGN DOCUMENTARY TO CHANGE OUR PERSPECTIVE

TORONTO, May 31, 2011 /CNW/ - He commutes downtown Toronto from Oshawa via public transit every day, works in customer service, is happily married and an active father to his two sons ages 3 and 7.

So far so ordinary.

Except that Jeff Berwick, 38, has been blind since age 13, and his journey through the course of just another day in his life has been captured by Emmy award-nominated documentary filmmaker David Grabias as a way of demonstrating a fresh point of view

The short 5:45 minute documentary called "Jeff's Day" and the TV spots that come from it are part of Accessible Media Inc.'s latest campaign intended to raise awareness for its efforts to make media accessible to all Canadians.

AMI makes our media world available to those who can't experience it the way it was created, adding description for those who can't see it, or captioning for those who can't hear it. The "Jeff's Day" documentary offers insight to the sighted of what it takes to manage in a world you can't see. AMI gives them our world, the documentary gives us theirs.

"Jeff is extraordinary in the fact that his visual impairment doesn't define him - he is every person in a way and that's what is so remarkable," said Grabias, the Director. "Through the documentary he explains to us both the process he uses to negotiate the world, and then the sensory experience of that world which is different from ours, and hopefully makes this documentary engaging for its insights as well as engaging emotionally."

"Jeff describes what he hears and thinks every step of the way, so that we get a sense of how he navigates a world that favours the sighted," said Peter Burke, AMI's Vice President of Marketing and Communications. "His world becomes accessible to us, in a similar manner in which AMI makes our world Accessible. Accessibility is about making things available to all.

The documentary shows the world from Berwick's perspective. He spent a day living his life as normal, except with a camera attached at eye level so that the viewer experiences life from his perspective. The documentary captures him making his way to work via a bus to catch the GO train, and then catching the subway at busy and complicated Union Station to get to the office at Bloor and Avenue Road. It shows him wrestling with his kids and taking one son to a lacrosse practice; it captures him making grilled cheese sandwiches for the boys and watching the Accessible Channel-TACtv with his family.

According to Berwick, he has always sought to be as independent as possible. "I have always lived in the sighted world," he says. "Accessible Media is important for that independence."

"We live in a media saturated world and it is difficult to comprehend what it is like to be shut out of it because of an impairment like lack of vision or hearing," said David Errington, AMI's President and CEO. "The work we do allows more than five million Canadians to take part in the culture of the moment, the news of the day and to be active participants."

The "Jeff's Day" documentary will be available on YouTube, The Accessible Channel and www.ami.ca.

In addition to the documentary, the 30 and 60 second TV spots launched May 23 and airing nationally and can be found on the YouTube channel, www.youtube.com/accessiblemedia.

On YouTube, the documentary begins with a rollover intended to give sighted people a sense of the media world for those with low-vision. The screen looks dark, but for a small peephole where the curser rolls over the content.  It's another way of expressing the sensory experience of AMI's core audience.

All were created by TBWA\TORONTO.

About Accessible Media Inc. (AMI)                                  

Accessible Media Inc. (AMI) is a not-for-profit multimedia organization operating two broadcast services, VoicePrint and The Accessible Channel- TACtv, and the companion website www.ami.ca. AMI serves more than five million Canadians who are blind, with low vision, print-restricted, deaf or hearing-impaired, learning disabled, and mobility impaired, in need of literacy skills or learning English as a second language, by making print, broadcast and on-line media accessible.  To learn more, please visit www.ami.ca.


SOURCE NEWS - MEDIA

For further information:

Georgina Blanas, Director, Government, Public and Affiliate Affairs 
416-422-4222 extension 0981/ georgina.blanas@ami.com

Tracy Nesdoly,Director of Earned Media
416-260-4049/ tracy.nesdoly@tbwa-toronto.com

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