D-Net Project

Our D-Next Media Lab heads to production!

CILT is pleased to announce the production phase of our D-Next Accessible Media Lab, an emerging lab that is led and run by a creative team of new media artists, film makers, journalists and advisory members with disabilities. CILT views D-Next as a valuable resource for producing authentic underrepresented portrayals of people with disabilities in the mainstream and social media, told through a nothing for us without us lens.

Our accessible media lab has been training and supporting emerging media storytellers who aspire to tell our communities stories through creative forms such as podcasts, mini docs, blogs, etc. We have been connecting with people with disabilities from underrepresented populations in Toronto to tell and circulate their stories. We will expand this important work by utilizing a comprehensive suite of audio-video production equipment, generously funded by a capital grant received in early 2019 from the Ontario Trillium Foundation. CILT extends an enthusiastic thank you to OTF, without whom we would be unable to fulfill the dream of this innovative media lab.

Some members of our DNext media production team at a recent story development session.
Some members of our DNext media production team at a recent story development session


This project is provided through the generous funding support of the Ontario Trillium Foundation.

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The D-Net Program Archive : A Resource for the Community by the Community

D-Net, The Disability Network, was a news and current affairs television series broadcast on CBC and Newsworld from 1990 to 1997.

It was the first program at the CBC to employ people with disabilities on air and behind the cameras. It was the first to provide them with professional training and get them started in broadcasting careers. It was also a first to provide closed-captioning and the first to train the people who wrote the captions.

D-Net was a coproduction between CILT, CBC and Fireweed Media, a production company run by people with disabilities. It was a great example of an innovative partnership between the community of people with disabilities, their organizations, public broadcasting, private and public funding.

CILT recently collected the original broadcast tapes, digitized the programs and now has made them available on our YouTube channel.

The programs deal with such subjects as accessibility, social attitudes, universal design standards, success stories, legislation, inclusion, accommodation, media, jobs, and housing, immigration, First Nations and human rights. D-Net is a vast resource of images, clips and reflections from people who were active contributors to change.

The list of on-camera guests and contributors includes politicians, community leaders, sports, arts, media, technological innovators and active citizens from across the country and around the world. D-Net is a vast resource of images, clips and reflections from people who were active contributors to change.

D-Net appeared at a critical time in the lives of people with disabilities during the long march toward equal rights and public consciousness. It is interesting to look back at these programs and reflect on how far we have come since then… and what remains to be accomplished.

In the near future CILT will continue to work with other organisations to provide a complete index to the content of the series. The next steps will be to make the series searchable by names, key words, dates, and categories, to develop further innovative packaging of this archival material including educational materials, and to develop additional new programming.

We are currently seeking both financial resources and those with technical abilities to help realize the vision and potential of D-Net.

Please provide all comments to D-Net, c/o CILT. Wendy Porch, execdirector@cilt.ca, 416 599-2458…. Stay tuned!