Want to find out more or ask a question about the Course Series in Inclusive Media: Real-time Closed Captioning and Audio Description/Described Video? Express interest to connect with this program and receive updates, including information about our upcoming intensive option.

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Learn how to use the latest live closed captioning (CC) and audio description/described video (AD/DV) techniques and technologies to create inclusive and accessible broadcast content for a variety of audiences. Through hands-on training and theoretical learning, explore CC and AD/DV software tools, script writing and re-speaking techniques, and relevant industry regulations and legislation. Industry experts will help you develop both fundamental and advanced skills for this growing field.

This course series offers the following benefits:  

  • Enrol right away – open admissions with no application required
  • Earn a Professional Development Award on successful completion of all courses
  • Apply for merit-based awards

What Makes Our Program Unique?

Check out these great reasons to pursue the Course Series in Inclusive Media! Our program offers:

  • University-level learning
  • Opportunities to gain both fundamental and advanced skills
  • Practical training using specialized equipment and software
  • Content that is rooted in extensive research and linked to the development of global standards for media accessibility
  • Topics that cover the latest industry advancements, such as the use of artificial intelligence in captioning software
  • Convenient weekend schedules
  • Course lengths suited to busy professionals (courses range from 8 to 21 hours in duration)
  • Expert instructors, guest speakers, and community connections who bring a mix of academic, industry, and end-user backgrounds to the classroom

NER Certification

The NER model is a quality assurance model based on the number of words captioned and different types of errors recorded. NER is taught in CDIM 101 - Closed Captioning and CDIM 103 - Closed Captioning Advanced, and students will have the opportunity to practice using this model in class.

Completion of this course series does not certify you as an NER evaluator, However, it is highly recommended that students without captioning experience take CDIM 101 and CDIM 103 in order to prepare for the external NER accreditation process. For more information about this process, contact Deborah Fels at dfels@ryerson.ca.

Who Teaches the Courses?

Our instructors are a mix of faculty and staff members from Ryerson University and professionals currently working in the broadcast industry. Experienced and in-touch, Chang School instructors bring up-to-date knowledge to every course.

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Advisory Committee Members

Tony AbrahamsTony Abrahams

Tony Abrahams is co-founder and CEO of Access Innovation Media (Ai-Media).Founded in Australia in 2003 to improve the quality of life for people with disabilities, Ai-Media is a for-purpose business dedicated to using technology and social innovation to improve content accessibility.

Its internet captioning service, Ai-Live, is used at universities, colleges, schools, workplaces, and conferences, providing real-time speech-to-text delivered remotely to any connected device. Transforming the professional and educational experience of deaf and hard-of-hearing people by providing immediate access to the spoken word, Ai-Live is a flexible, scalable solution for learners with communication barriers including autism, deafness, and learning difficulties, as well as for students for whom English is an additional language.

Ai-Media has evolved to be a global technology business and now employs over 250 people worldwide, including Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Norway.

Tony has served as a non-executive director of Northcott Disability Services and is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. As a Rhodes Scholar, Tony received an MBA (2001) and MPhil in Economics (2000) from the University of Oxford. He received an LLB (1998), BCom (Hons I) (1996) from the University of New South Wales. In 2013, Tony was appointed as a Young Global Leader.


Deb FelsDeborah Fels

Deborah Fels has a PhD (1994) in Human Factors from Industrial Engineering at the University of Toronto. She is currently employed as a professor at the Ted Rogers School of Information Technology Management, and is the director of the Inclusive Media and Design Centre at Ryerson University. Her research interests involve inclusive design, access to media and technology for people with disabilities and older adults, inclusive video game design, and inclusive business. Dr. Fels has published over 150 articles on inclusive technologies and applications and has received three patents. She is also a professional engineer.

Her current research projects include:

  • emotive captioning
  • audio description including the software tools LiveDescribe and LiveDescribe Web
  • sensory substitution techniques for access to sound and visual information, including creation of a vibrotactile system, the Emoti-Chair, and a vibrotactile music facility, the VibraFusionLab
  • mixed-reality gaming for older adults
  • needs analysis methods that are inclusive of older adults
  • video documentation and storytelling technology for older adults with chronic illness
  • gamification in education

Santiago HidalgoSantiago Hidalgo

Santiago Hidalgo is the director of the Laboratoire CinéMédias and an affiliate professor at the Université de Montréal. He is currently a member of the International Research Partnership on Cinema Technology (TECHNÈS) scientific committee and series editor of the Cinema and Technology book collection at Amsterdam University Press. He is co-editor of A Companion to Early Cinema (Wiley-Blackwell, 2011) and editor of Technology and Film Scholarship: Experience, Study, Theory (Amsterdam University Press, 2017). Santiago’s research focuses on early cinema, film criticism, audiovisual reception, the impact of high-paced films on children, and film consciousness.


Jenny LeungJenny A. Leung

Jenny Leung is currently completing her final year at Ryerson University’s Ted Rogers School of Management, studying in the Business Technology Management program with a minor in psychology. She is also completing her summer internship program at BMO as Technology Analyst. Jenny holds an Advanced Diploma in Business Administration from George Brown College, and plans to continue on to graduate studies with Ryerson.

Jenny is Deaf, and she is fluent in American Sign Language and English (spoken and written). She was born in Hong Kong and moved to Calgary at the age of 5. She moved to Toronto at 17 to explore her Deaf identity and Deaf awareness, culture, and educational opportunities. Jenny completed her studies in the Business Management program at Gallaudet University for the Deaf in Washington, DC, where she was on the Dean’s List with a 3.75 GPA.

Jenny enjoys reading books on subjects that include research, business, science, and technology, and also enjoys hiking and travel.


Caroline MartinCaroline Martin

Caroline Martin is a research coordinator at the Laboratoire CinéMédias and a lecturer in cinema and literature at the Université de Montréal. She is currently acting as the elected Lecturers’ Representative of her department and actively working on developing new andragogic strategies in the field of cinema.

As a scholar, Caroline received a master’s degree in Literature (2004) from the Université du Québec à Montréal and a PhD (2019) in Art Education from Concordia University. In 2018, she was voted by the students of the Université de Montréal as one of the top five most inspiring teachers.

Her research interests involve cinema and media education, curriculum, government policies, and youth’s film reception. Her current research project, a collaboration with the Neuroscience of Early Development Lab (Ste-Justine Hospital, Montreal) is on the impact of fast-paced films on children.


Beverley MilliganBeverley Milligan

Beverley Milligan has worked toward increasing the accessibility of Canadian media for over 25 years, first as a closed captioner for CHCH-TV in Hamilton. She then founded Canada Caption Inc. to implement a business model for underwriting costs associated with closed captioning through coining and bringing to market the concept of “Closed captioning brought to you in part by....”. This corporate sponsorship model led to a widespread increase in closed captioning of television programming for deaf and hard-of-hearing Canadians. Beverley received the prestigious Canadian Association of Broadcasters Gold Ribbon Award for her contribution to the Canadian broadcasting industry for this body of work.

Her role in the creation and evolution of accessible media has influenced the Canadian broadcasting landscape, as well as policy development at the provincial and federal levels. Her conceptualizing and lobbying research and development funding led to the inclusion of a tangible benefit package now called the Broadcasting Accessibility Fund. While on the board of directors of the National Broadcast Reading Service, Beverley was instrumental in conceptualizing what is now Accessible Media Inc. Her tireless work in standards development has resulted in the Canadian Association of Broadcasters’ style guide for captioning; her role as co-editor of the International Organization for Standardization’s publication, DTS 20071-21 “Information Technology — User interface component accessibility — Part 21: Guidance on audio description”; and numerous other publications.

As the daughter of two deaf parents, Beverley earned a degree in Linguistics from York University. She was recognized in 2013 with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for her lifelong dedication to supporting innovation, entrepreneurialism, and market development in accessible media industries.

Beverley brings to the table a wealth of experience from all stakeholder perspectives.


Kevin ShawKevin Shaw

Kevin Shaw is an entrepreneur who understands accessibility and assertive technology from lived experience. Despite losing his vision at 19, he has carved out a successful career in live entertainment, music production, advertising, broadcast management, and digital media. Mr. Shaw founded TellMe TV, a company incubated at the DMZ at Ryerson University until 2014. TellMe TV is the world’s first 100 percent described video on-demand service featuring movies and TV shows with audio description for people living with vision loss.

Kevin currently holds the role of Program Manager for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the CNIB Foundation. Mr. Shaw is a proud Ryerson University alumnus with a bachelor’s degree in Radio and Television Arts and a master’s degree in Media Production.


Em WilliamsEm Williams

Em Williams is a passionate advocate for quality described video and media accessibility. With nearly 15 years’ experience, she leads the Media Accessibility Services department for Accessible Media Inc. (AMI) in Toronto.

Em has been integral in the research and development of Integrated Described Video (IDV), which is AMI’s inclusive approach to making visual media accessible throughout production. AMI’s IDV Best Practices Guide, to which Em contributed, won a 2017 Chairman's Award for Advancements in Accessibility from the United States' Federal Conmmunications Commission (FCC).

Em is a committee member working to develop an audio description certification in coordination with the US-based Academy for Certification of Vision Rehabilitation & Education Professionals (ACVREP).

Course Series Requirements

  • Successful completion of 4 required courses
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Intensive Option

Coming in Spring/Summer 2020!

Fast-track this course series through our intensive option – complete the required courses in a single term. Express interest to receive updates about this unique program.

Inclusive Media in the News

Check out these articles featuring our Course Series in Inclusive Media.

Described video opens up world of film to the blind (Toronto Star, December 10, 2019)

All prime time TV shows now have to be accessible. How Toronto could become a world leader in captioning and describing (Toronto Star, December 13, 2019)

Conference Presentations

Inclusive Media at the CNIB Foundation's Connectiing the Dots Conference (October 2019)

Deborah Fels, the course developer for our Course Series in Inclusive Media, presented "What is CAD? (Certified Audio Describers)" at the 2019 CNIB conference. Margot Whitfield and Marie-Catherine Rombaut, lecturers in the series, presented "Inclusive Media – Real Time (CC, AD/DV)." Ryerson University was the only post-secondary organization with accessible media course offerings to present at this conference.

Listen to them discuss their presentations and The Chang School's Course Series in Inclusive Media with AMI's "Kelley and Company":
Interview with Deborah Fels
Interview with Margot Whitfield and Marie-Catherine Rombaut

Contact Us

Questions? Contact Deborah Fels, Academic Coordinator.

Email:  dfels@ryerson.ca

Additional Details