Broadcaster,  11/7/2006


CAB Launches Major Initiatives for Persons with Disabilities

The Canadian Association of Broadcasters announced today three major initiatives to affect social attitudes towards persons with disabilities. These initiatives include:

The launch of a Public Service Announcement campaign, entitled "Open your Mind";
Release of Recommended Guidelines on Language and Terminology - Persons with Disabilities: A Manual for News Professionals and Glossary developed in consultation with RTNDA Canada; and
A brochure on Employment Opportunities in the Canadian Broadcasting and Affiliated Production Sector.

"Canada 's private broadcasters are committed to bringing greater diversity to Canada's broadcasting system, both on-screen and behind the scenes," said Glenn O'Farrell, CAB President and CEO. "As broadcasters, we recognize the potential influence programming has in shaping public attitudes and perceptions about persons with disabilities, and in doing so can take concrete steps to encourage attitudinal shifts."

Last fall, the CAB submitted its final report on the Presence, Portrayal and Participation of Persons with Disabilities in Television Programming to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission.

The clear issues raised throughout the course of the research conducted by the CAB flow from concerns of negative social attitudes, misperceptions and misinformation concerning persons with disabilities, and life with a disability. Today's multi-pronged announcement is directed at improving the participation of persons with disabilities in the broadcasting industry and influencing a positive shift in public attitudes about persons with disabilities.

The PSA, entitled "Open Your Mind" is directed at influencing a positive shift in public attitudes about persons with disabilities. The PSA is to be aired over the course of 2007 and will feature four individuals from the disability community from various occupational backgrounds. The PSA is aimed at demonstrating and encouraging the employability of persons with disabilities in a variety of fields. Produced in high definition, the PSA will be available immediately to television stations across the country in both English and French.

Recommended Guidelines on Language and Terminology - Persons with Disabilities: A Manual for News Professionals and Glossary. This manual for news professionals, developed by the CAB Television and Specialty & Pay Boards in consultation with RTNDA Canada, includes recommended guidelines on the use of language and terminology when referring to persons with disabilities. The manual has been made available to all CAB and RTNDA members, and is also available on line in a printable and accessible format on the CAB's Diversity in Broadcasting Web site.

Employment Opportunities in the Canadian Broadcasting and Affiliated Production Sector. This brochure, developed by the CAB Television and Specialty & Pay Boards, outlines the types of employment available in the broadcasting and affiliated production sector. This brochure is aimed at improving the participation of persons with disabilities in the industry. The brochure will be made available on the CAB's Diversity in Broadcasting Web site in an accessible and printable format and will be promoted to the disability community, educational institutions and relevant government agencies and/or departments (municipal, provincial and federal).



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