Accessibility is important to YouView enabling everyone to enjoy the new levels of choice and interactivity brought by connecting our TVs to broadband. This commitment is reflected in both our user interface design and our input into the Digital TV Group’s (DTG) ‘Connected TV’ work.. As an enabler for all types of content providers to reach the nation’s TV screens, YouView will also promote best practice accessibility models to content providers who choose to make their content available via the platform.
YouView will work to the following standards:
1. Recognise the diversity of disabled audiences
This includes – but is not limited to – blind and partially sighted, deaf and hard of hearing audiences, people with severe motor impairments, with literacy or learning difficulties and with cognitive disorders. We understand that these audiences have different needs.
2. Enable disabled audiences
Wherever possible, we will seek to give disabled audiences the ability to access content and services as they want to rather than offering one-size-fits-all, fixed solutions.
3. Ensure close stakeholder engagement
Not just with the consumer electronics industry, but specifically with organisations with expertise in access issues, such as lobby groups, academics and specialist businesses as well as the Digital Television Group (DTG).
4. Align with the Help Scheme specification
Seek to bring YouView into line with, and at least as accessible as, the Switchover Help Scheme specification.
5. Provide a good user experience
Set minimum standards to guarantee as good a user experience as possible for disabled audiences but which do not stop device manufacturers from going further to provide additional accessibility features.
6. Develop an accessible user interface
Provide an accessible user interface for all YouView branded devices. We will also ensure that, where relevant, our learning’s are reflected in other IP-enabled devices.
7. Support a widening range of accessibility features
YouView will allow software updates on the device so that additional access services and solutions can be provided in the future, without the user having to purchase a new device. We will also aim to provide software interfaces through which other organisations can develop custom add-ons.
These will be applied in five key Access areas that YouView will focus on when developing its roadmap around accessibility. Those are to:
- Support television access services (subtitles, signing, and audio description)
- Support connectivity with external devices
- Support accessibility software on connected devices
- Offer a customisable user interface (UI)
- Provide a remote control design that meets industry best practice for accessibility
YouView continues to develop its accessibility roadmap in discussion with our partners and the industry in line with the principles set out above.
YouView Accessibility Features
YouView includes a range of accessibility features and services that will be available at launch, as well as a number of additional features that can be added to YouView set-top boxes via a software update.
Features included at launch:
Access Services (where provided by the broadcaster or content provider)
- Support for subtitles and audio description for standard definition (SD) linear broadcast content
- Support for subtitles and audio description for high definition (HD) linear broadcast content
- Support for subtitles and audio description for video-on-demand (VOD) and other off-schedule content
- Magnifier with dedicated button on the supplied remote control
- High visibility user interface
- Screen typeface that will ensure the text on the YouView user interface (UI) is legible and readable
- Audio Description and subtitles buttons on all YouView remote controls
Features available via software upgrade:
- Support for standard USB HCI drivers for keyboards, gamepads and mouse buttons
- An Application Programming Interface (API) to emulate remote control key presses
- An API for enhancing accessibility via second screen style applications on connected devices, potentially maximising access for people who use assistive technologies such as magnifiers, screenreaders, switches and so on
- Alternative user interface colours for those with Dyslexia, ADHD or ASD
- Optional opaque interface background to make it easier to read the text on the screen
- API for text-to-speech, via a separate voice-enabled device such as a smartphone or PC laptop that is connected to the YouView set-top box
- Support for an on-screen remote control and keyboard for switch users