CAB Special Update on Diversity #3 - December 10, 2008
These Diversity Updates have been designed as a tool to provide key information and links on the issues relating to diversity in broadcasting to assist private broadcasters and other industry stakeholders in their efforts to ensure that our airwaves reflect all Canadians.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights Celebrates its 60th Anniversary
December 10, 2008, marks an important anniversary: it is 60 years since the United Nations General Assembly ratified the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and opened a new era of international history. Its ideals remain as relevant as ever six decades from its adoption.

Born out of the trauma of World War II, the principles enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights shaped modern concepts of human dignity and served as a template for the international rights conventions that followed. Based on France's 1789 Declaration of the Rights of Man and the 1776 US Declaration of Independence, the 30-point non-binding text was adopted by 58 UN states. Article 1 of the text proclaims: "All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights."

For the full text of the Declaration, available in over 337 different languages, click here.


Inaugural CAB Diversity Webinar Welcomes 61 Participants
The CAB held its' first-ever web-based seminar on the subject of Strategic Planning for Human Resources: A Diversity Perspective on November 27, 2008. Moderated by diversity expert Richard Cavanagh of CONNECTUS Consulting Inc., the one-hour session presented a statistical overview of Canada's growing diversity, and a focus on key issues in diversity planning for human resources, including recruiting challenges, how to engage management, organizational commitment and accommodation for persons with disabilities.

In each case, practical and cost-effective approaches to the issues were identified and explained. For example, in the case of recruiting, the webinar presentation emphasized the need to develop strong relationships with secondary schools along with post-secondary institutions, in order to attract younger people to a career in broadcasting and thereby tap into diverse talent pools.

The webinar also emphasized the critical need to engage senior management in diversity commitments, and suggested a number of ways to attract managers to an organization's culture of diversity. Information presented also spoke to the advantages of linking diversity initiatives to existing community-based activities, while building on existing celebration days and months, such as Black History Month and Asian-Canadian Month.

Webinar information also pointed to the need for broadcasters to be aware of the on-going need to accommodate persons with disabilities within the workplace - and to consult with accessibility experts and local disability communities for advice and direction on accommodation planning.

An audience of 61participants, including CAB members , as well as BEAC and CRTC representatives attended the session, which combined a web-based PowerPoint presentation with an audio voiceover. The webinar format enabled an interactive Q & A session, as well as links to a range of valuable resources from government, media and organizations specializing in diversity planning.

The Webinar is now archived and available on-demand. To download the powerpoint presentation and the audio file, click here.

Based on the enthusiastic feedback received from a number of participants, the webinar was a great success, and an excellent and cost-efficient means of conveying the latest information on diversity in Canada. The CAB is now evaluating with members how to ensure best practices continue to be shared. Plans to hold a second diversity webinar are now under review.


Closed Captioning Working Groups
On December 2, 2008, the CAB files its Preliminary Report on the English- and French-language Working Groups' Recommendations on Quality Captioning: CRTC PN 2007-54 – A New Policy with Respect to Closed Captioning.

The Report identifies the outcomes of Closed Captioning Working Group discussions over the past year, with a focus on the steps required to improve the quality of captioning overall. To this end, the CAB has now produced Closed Captioning Standards and Protocols for English-language Television Programming Services and Projet de Lignes directrices et protocole du sous-titrage code à l'intention des télédiffuseurs canadiens de langue francaise.

The CAB will be conducting two focus groups this month, one in English and one in French, to provide consumer perspectives on the proposed closed captioning styles and formats for French-language and English-language television programming services. A report on the findings from the focus groups will then be submitted to the CRTC on December 15, 2008. Subsequently, the CAB will submit the Working Groups' final report and proposed standards and protocols manuals on February 3, 2009.

The proposed new standards and protocols manuals can be found at the following links:


A Special Thanks to CAB Hall of Fame Member Harvey Glatt
CAB Hall of Fame member Harvey Glatt and his wife Louise have made it their lifelong passion to bring great music to Canadian listeners. They are also long time patrons of the National Arts Centre (NAC) in Ottawa. These two great commitments recently combined when a donation from Harvey and Louise enabled the NAC to purchase an assistive hearing system that will provide an enhanced live theatre experience for up to 50 hard of hearing patrons.

We are very proud to count Harvey Glatt among our Hall of Fame inductees, and applaud the outstanding dedication of Harvey and Louise to creating a more inclusive world for people with hearing disabilities.


Accommodating Persons with Disabilities in the Workplace
As noted earlier in this Special Diversity Update, the CAB's recent Diversity Webinar focused in part on the issue of workplace accommodation for persons with disabilities. Workplace accommodation also remains a key theme of the United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

For those interested in obtaining more information about implementing basic, cost-effective accommodation measures, or to simply find out more about reducing barriers in the workplace, the disability service organization March of Dimes has developed a comprehensive website, Thinking Outside the Box: Creative Solutions for Accommodating Disabilities/Hors des Sentiers Battus: Des Solutions Créatives Pour L'Adaptation Du Milieu Travail Des Personnes Handicapées.

Together with summary of legal obligations and a set of guidelines and principles on workplace accommodation, the website provides a summary checklist of 'things to consider', and a listing of available technical aids and assistive devices.

For more information, visit the March of Dimes website at


CAB's Ongoing Communications with the Radio Television News Directors Association (RTNDA) and the Broadcast Educators Association of Canada (BEAC)
Advancing cultural diversity initiatives through an industry-wide approach remains a CAB priority. Partnerships and alliances play an important role in building awareness and driving solutions, and the CAB's continued collaborative discussions and information exchanges with the RTNDA and the BEAC are an excellent example of a multiple stakeholder effort to realize change.


Coming Up Next…

  • The CAB will be filing its Annual Report on Diversity Initiatives with the CRTC on January 30, 2009.
  • In consultation with the CAB's Joint Societal Issues Committee, the Association is currently developing an action plan to address the presence of Asian-Canadians in news and information programming.
  • Given the success of the CAB's diversity sessions at the 2008 Regional Conventions of the WAB and the BCAB, the CAB is working the Regional Presidents Committee to develop proposals for the 2009 events.
  • As a result of the positive feedback from participants, the CAB is exploring the feasibility of offering a second Webinar on diversity issues.


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For more information, please contact:

Marye Ménard-Bos
Executive Director, Events and Member Services
Canadian Association of Broadcasters
Tel.: (613) 233-4035, ext. 311
Fax: (613) 233-6961

Pierre Pontbriand
Vice President, Communications
Canadian Association of Broadcasters
Tel.: (613)-233-4035, ext. 351
Fax: (613)-233-6961