Four Senses, my new cooking show premieres
Late last year, it was announced that I would be co-hosting a new culinary show in Canada with the winner of “Top Chef” Canada season 2, Carl Heinrich. Now, the show, called “Four Senses,” is about to make its debut on the small screen one week from tomorrow!
“Four Senses” is a cooking show geared towards the visually impaired—it’s airing on AMI (Accessible Media, Inc.) TV, a Canadian cable network designed to make television accessible to everyone, including the vision and hearing impaired. This means our show, while it’s visual because it’s on TV, contains a ton of audio description—we’re constantly narrating what’s going on in the kitchen, what we’re doing, how things feel or smell or sound. I have to say, I am very thankful something like this exists, because as you can imagine, it’s difficult for someone with very little vision like me to watch TV. As much as I like to read and listen to music, TV is such a cornerstone of pop culture and modern society that it’s difficult for me to ignore it or remove myself from that favorite spot on the couch in front of the small screen. I like to be able to participate in conversations my friends have about the latest episode of SNL with JT. I like to spend down time with the hubster watching “Parks and Rec” reruns. But oftentimes, I am asking my TV-watching companions, “What just happened? What’s she doing? What does he look like?” And that’s where AMI comes in: to fill in those gaps of the television world for the viewer with special needs.
Oh, how I love those socially progressive Canadians!
But where does that leave us Americans?
In 2010, the FCC enacted the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA), which mandated provisions that will make modern communications technologies accessible to people with disabilities. This was the biggest accessibility legislature since the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in 1990.
In October 2013, in the same month I was off in Toronto filming “Four Senses,” the FCC was busy adopting new video accessibility rules, which is a major step towards fulfilling the CVAA. Yay for civil rights for the disabled!
Speaking of the U.S., I’ve had countless questions from my fellow Americans asking, “How can we watch ‘Four Senses’ in the U.S.?” Good question. We are still trying to figure that out ourselves, whether it means syndicating the show on an American network or streaming it online. Please be patient, as we are working on that. And remember, the more demand that’s created for it, the more likely it will be made available. (Hint, hint.)
In the meantime, I’ve heard you can listen to “Four Senses” on the AMI podcast (which, for you vision impaired folks, would be just the same).
So if you’re in Canada, don’t forget to tune in to “Four Senses” on AMI next Friday the 24th at 7 PM, and let me know what you think. And if you’re elsewhere, stay tuned for availability updates. Thanks for coming along on this ride with me.
What are your thoughts on the CVAA? Do you have any more information for me and the readers about any advancements made in this regard? Let me know in the comments section.