TORONTO, Feb. 6, 2012 /CNW/ - Every year AMI, a global leader in making media accessible, joins with hundreds of individuals and organizations committed to a more inclusive Canada to mark an important awareness-raising celebration.
That event: the Canadian Council of the Blind's (CCB) annual salute to the White Cane, one of the world's most stirring symbols of greater accessibility.
"We're very pleased to play a key role in promoting White Cane Week 2012," says David Errington, President and CEO of Accessible Media Inc.-AMI, "and proud of our exciting schedule of special White Cane Week-related programs that will inform our audiences about Canadians who are blind or with low vision - their triumphs, aspirations and accomplishments."
Last year, AMI broadcast features on blind NASCAR drivers, a unique perspective on the woman known as Canada's Helen Keller, the latest on guide dogs and an update on remarkable advances for blind and low vision Canadians.
"And this year," explains John Melville, AMI Vice President, Programming and Production, "we want to top ourselves with the kinds of in-depth interviews, programs and discussions about the issues Canadians who are blind or with low vision face and that our audiences expect of us."
"We're particularly pleased," continues Melville, "that AMI's special line-up includes fascinating reports from our Local Broadcast Centres throughout the country, which reflects our mission to provide coverage of interest to people with disabilities from communities across Canada."
Among the highlights on VoicePrint (soon to be known as AMI-audio), the world's largest broadcast reading service, making local, national and international news and information accessible:
- AMI's award-winning Contact program interviews an official at the Canadian Council of the Blind, talking about this year's White Cane Week.
- AMI Calgary visits the International Disability Film Festival.
- AMI Fredericton puts the spotlight on service animals. What happens to a guide dog after they are retired from service?
- AMI Ottawa reports on the Blind-Low Vision Early Intervention Program run by Pinecrest Queensway Community Health Centre, which provides education and support for parents so they can learn how to help their children develop the skills they need for daily activities at home and in early learning and care settings.
- AMI Lethbridge interviews David Zeck, who has used a white cane and now uses a dog guide, about what improvements have taken place with accessibility and where shortfalls still lie.
- AMI Vancouver explores "facial vision," also known as echolocation. Long used by mammals, birds and whales, echolocation seems to change the lives of people with vision loss.
- AMI Halifax talks to Ryo Hirosawa, a blind photographer living in Japan.
- AMI Winnipeg presents a profile in courage: an interview with local musician B.J. Garrison, who is blind in one eye and terminally ill. Among other topics, Garrison explains what's it's like coming face-to-face with death while being the single dad of an 11-year-old son.
- AMI Edmonton looks at CNIB's guide training, which teaches people how to guide someone who is blind.
- AMI Toronto presents a first-person visit to O. Noir, a dine-in-the-dark restaurant.
- AMI Victoria features an interview with Ann Jackson of the Victoria White Cane Club, which just celebrated its 65th birthday.
- AMI Original Documentary presentation: Flight of Hope, looks at the Orbis Flying Eye Hospital, a blindness prevention pioneer in the developing world.
- Ability Today: Tune in for a selection of articles from this year's White Cane Magazine, published by the CCB. Hear articles on the CCB's Person of the Year, a profile of guitarist Lucas Haneman and more.
And on AMI-tv (formerly TACtv), the world's first channel to broadcast all programming with Open Described Video (DV) and Closed Captioning (CC): an encore presentation of A Whole New Light, a one-hour special report exploring the scientific, medical and therapeutic treatments that will help to improve quality of life for people with vision loss. Told through compelling personal stories and anecdotes you won't soon forget, this special brings viewers the latest research, surgeries, implants and experimental therapies.
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About Accessible Media Inc.
Accessible Media Inc. (AMI) is a not-for-profit multimedia organization operating two broadcast services, AMI-tv (formerly The Accessible Channel-TACtv) and VoicePrint (soon to be known as AMI-audio), and a companion website, AMI-online (www.ami.ca). AMI serves more than five million Canadians who are blind or partially sighted, deaf or hard of hearing, learning disabled, mobility or print restricted, or learning English as a second language by making print, broadcast and online media accessible.
For further information:
Andrea Ramos, Public Relations Coordinator
800-567-6755 ext. 0977, [email protected]