Accessible Media Inc (AMI) will capture the historic coverage of the Royal Wedding event in Described Video to give a non-sighted viewer the full experience, providing its first-ever real time broadcast.

TORONTO, April 25 /CNW/ - Millions of Canadians are expected to tune in to the Royal Wedding on April 29, to watch the marriage of Prince William and Catherine Middleton.  Accessible Media Inc. is making sure blind and low-vision Canadians share equally in the celebration.

"There is a big difference between described video and colour commentary which will be offered on every other network," said John Melville, Vice President, Programming and Production, (AMI), "Colour commentary offers interesting facts and details, whereas we will be describing the visuals to give a non-sighted viewer a full experience."

Accessible Media Inc., (AMI), a not-for-profit organization dedicated to making media accessible to all Canadians, will ensure this moment in history can be witnessed and enjoyed by the five million people with vision or hearing impairments that would otherwise miss out on the detail and the pageantry. Working with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, AMI will offer descriptive commentary to the CBC feed while the CBC will provide closed captioning to make the wedding fully accessible.  The feed will be open described in simulcast on The Accessible Channel-TACtv.

"We are thrilled to be able to offer our audience this moment in history as it is happening," said David Errington, AMI's President and CEO. "This is a great step forward for making media accessible in Canada, including live events."

Describers Ruth Barrett and Sarah Mennell were selected from a short list of five to tag-team during the five-hour broadcast beginning at 5:00 a.m. on April 29, 2011.  The audition consisted of describing footage from the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer on July 29, 1981.

"I had set my alarm and was up before dawn to see Prince Charles marry Diana.  I am thrilled to be able to describe this next royal wedding to our world," said Barrett.

"I think all weddings are love stories and I'm also thrilled to be able to describe this one," said Mennell.

Producers Simone Cupid, Diana Golts, Andrew Morris and Ron Rickford will be on duty to ensure every historic moment is captured on air with vivid description.

In preparation AMI team has been doing comprehensive research on every aspect imaginable including the historic buildings along the couple's route to and from Westminster Abbey, potential guests and details on wedding gowns through the ages. The describers will receive cues from the Director as to what is being broadcast, and each will have a laptop with live chat so the production team can provide research details and notes in real time.

"We have no idea what we will see, and our role is different from regular broadcasters in that we need to provide the details colour commentators might take for granted," said Cupid.  "The expression on William's face when he sees his bride for the first time that day, or that of Middleton's parents, are just a couple of examples of what the describers will have to capture as the moments unfold."

"We are describing history, and we're making history too", said Errington, "We hope this will be just the first of many such significant moments we're able to offer our audience."

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 their companion websites. AMI serves more than five million Canadians who are blind, with low vision, print-restricted, deaf or hearing-impaired, learning disabled, mobility impaired, in need of literacy skills or learning English as a second language, by making media accessible through audio recordings or described video. More information is available at

SOURCE Accessible Media Inc. (AMI)

For further information:

Georgina Blanas, Director, Government, Public and Affiliate Affairs 

Tracy Nesdoly 

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