CMF and Disability Screen Office announce new partnership

Toronto, December 1, 2023 - The Canada Media Fund (CMF) and the Disability Screen Office (DSO) today announced a two-pronged partnership to increase disability representation and inclusion in the Canadian screen industry.

Following initial consultations with the industry and a broad spectrum of disabled communities, where key findings included the need for increased industry awareness, recognition of various barriers, and the formalization of a Production Accessibility role, the first step of this partnership consists of teaming up on a comprehensive research project to establish standards and guidelines for disability representation and inclusion in the Canadian screen industry. With support from Ontario Creates, the project data will be condensed and published as a reference guide titled Best Practices Guide to Disability Engagement in the Canadian Film and Television Industry.

Kicking off this month and following the principle of "Nothing About Us Without Us," this phase of the project will utilize various research methods, including a literature review, consultations, an industry survey, and close collaboration with disabled individuals in the sector.

The CMF, with key contributions and support from Ontario Creates, will also fund the creation of an online Industry Resource Centre. This hub will consolidate information specific to the Canadian screen industry and, in tandem with the Best Practices Guide, offer tailored accessibility and disability information, including certified service providers, accessible venues, and suggested reading materials. All resources will be easily available thanks to a robust filtering system, a user-friendly interface, and efficient information gathering. With development set to begin in January 2024, this hub aims to become the epicentre for all things accessibility in the Canadian screen sector.

“Our heartfelt gratitude goes out to the CMF and Ontario Creates for their generous support. Their visionary investment is not just a boost; it's a catalyst for a new era in accessibility and disability inclusion. We can’t wait to shape the future of the Canadian screen sector through these valuable initiatives!” says Winnie Luk, Executive Director, DSO.

“This partnership will promote the full participation of persons with disabilities in the Canadian audiovisual sector and represents an important step toward building a more inclusive industry. We are excited to support the DSO in this crucial work to break down barriers and enable real access for Indigenous and Canadian stories,” says Valerie Creighton, President and CEO, CMF.

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About the Disability Screen Office
The Disability Screen Office (DSO) is a national, disability-led, not-for-profit organization that works with the Canadian screen industry to eliminate accessibility barriers and foster authentic and meaningful disability representation on and off the screen. Our vision is to realize a Canadian screen sector that is fully inclusive and accessible. The DSO was originally incubated at Accessible Media Inc. (AMI), with the support of the CMF. We became an independent, autonomous organization in September 2022 and April 1, 2023 marked our first operational year. Funding for DSO is provided by Telefilm Canada, AMI, Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA), and Writers Guild of Canada (WGC).

About the Canada Media Fund 
The Canada Media Fund (CMF) fosters, develops, finances, and promotes the production of Canadian content and applications for all audiovisual media platforms. The CMF guides Canadian content towards a competitive global environment by fostering industry innovation, rewarding success, enabling a diversity of voices, and promoting access to content through public and private sector partnerships. The CMF receives financial contributions from the Government of Canada and Canada’s cable, satellite, and IPTV distributors. Visit our website for more information

Media contact 

Maxime Ruel 
Senior Manager, Communications 
mruel@cmf-fmc.ca 

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