Tuesday, June 10, 2014

CSI TV Accessibility Conference Discussion

Written by John Carlucci, CTO Alticast

Last week, I had the good fortune of attending the CSI TV Accessibility Conference in London. The conference brought together a passionate group of advocates, technologist, policy creators and users of accessibility services. This team meets to reflect on current successes and future opportunities to enhance television accessibility. 

Generous design of television services benefit us all. For example, many of us have enjoyed closed caption text as we follow our favorite football game across a noisy sports bar. Closed captioning has been a successful technology. The adoption varies depending on which country; in the UK for instance, broadcast is more than 98% covered with closed captioning.

New television technology offers opportunities as well as challenges. The television user interface has expanded use of visual cues to help manage the complexity of vast channel lineups and on demand libraries. Text to speech technologies have been incorporated into TV to enhance navigation for the blind. Often however, when the TV is connected to a video service provider set-top box, this functionality is lost.

The growing dominance of video as the mass communication media, heightens the need for accessibility.  To enable education, information and entertainment for all, we must strive to make TV accessible.

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