Apr 25, 2023

Empowering the disability community through accessible media

AMI logo

Accessible Media Inc. (AMI) is a not-for-profit media company, that entertains, informs, and empowers Canadians who are blind or partially sighted. As Fighting Blindness Canada’s national media partner, we had the opportunity to speak with AMI’s Vice President of Content Development and Operations, John Melville, to learn about AMI’s mission, notable programs, the future of accessible programming, and much more.

How has AMI’s programming empowered the disabled community?

Closed captioning has provided members of the Deaf and hard of hearing community with a standardized media accessibility tool to ensure visual transcription of audio content. Described Video has brought spoken word audio to visuals to enable members of the blind and partially sighted community access to content. Both methods are regulated under the Broadcasting Act to ensure that most media content is accessible. There is work to be done, however, as these accessibility tools are not always available on content in unregulated places like many current streaming platforms and social media.

What opportunities does it present to someone living with vision loss?

Inclusion into the viewing and production of the content. Members of the blind and partially sighted community can partipate at the same level as all other persons with these media accessibility tools available in the production.

Share with us a bit about AMI and its mission.

AMI is a not-for-profit media company that entertains, informs, and empowers Canadians who are blind or partially sighted. Through the creation of content that can be viewed on our broadcast channels or through our website, mobile app and social media, AMI strives to positively portray Canadians with disabilities in front of and behind the camera. We tell stories about Canadians by Canadians with disabilities from all provinces and territories in Canada.

What are some notable AMI programs that feature individuals living with vision loss?

Kelly and Ramya, which airs weekdays at 2 p.m. Eastern on AMI-tv and AMI-audio. Tune in for interviews and discussions about arts, entertainment, and the lifestyle issues that matter to you.

NOW with Dave Brown, which airs weekdays at 9 a.m. Eastern on AMI-tv. Dave Brown discusses the latest news, entertainment, sports, and current events through a disability lens.

Double Tap TV, which airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. Eastern on AMI-tv. Join hosts Steven Scott and Marc Aflalo as they help viewers better understand how technology can assist in everyday life.

Dish with Mary, which airs Thursdays at 8:30 p.m. Eastern on AMI-tv. Mary Mammoliti—a home cook and food blogger who is partially sighted—knows her way around the kitchen and proves it during fun cook-alongs with renowned Canadian chefs.

Healthy at Home, which is available to stream anytime on and the AMI-tv App. Fitness instructor Bobbi Janzen guides viewers through a home workout that tones and strengthens for everyday living.

What are some of AMI’s long-term goals for inclusion?

To include persons with disabilities in front of and behind the camera in the production of content. This requires opportunities created by AMI to train and develop content creators across Canada as we produce new series and features. AMI has an apprentice program in place to accomplish that in the coming years. We also hope to collaborate with other content creators and broadcasters to spread inclusion of persons with disabilities throughout the Canadian content creation, information, and entertainment spectrum.

John Melville
Vice President, Content Development and Operations at AMI

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