Here’s one I missed: Cable bills will be going up next year after the CRTC added a new required service (meaning all cable and satellite providers are required to carry it on all packages): The Accessible Channel.
The channel (according to its application) is basically supposed to be an all-day described video service, which would be an improvement over the current spotty DV which will be on maybe one show a day.
It makes sense, I suppose (though saying I don’t support it would no doubt brand me as evil, as would making smart-ass comments like “why is this a TV channel instead of a radio station?”). I certainly won’t mind paying the extra $0.20 a month for it, as long as that money goes toward making more shows accessible to the blind.
One criticism though: “Accessible Channel”? That sounds like programming for people in wheelchairs. Why not “Described Video Channel” or something more precise?
UPDATE (Sept. 23): Accessibility writer Joe Clark files an appeal of the decision which makes some very thoughtful points about ghettoization of blind viewers and passing the buck on a serious problem. Instead, he recommends that all broadcasters be required to provide descriptive audio service like they’re required to provide closed-captioning.