Provide convenient access to essential universal design features via the remote control
Television equipment may provide a range of universal design features that may be of benefit to a wide range of users but are specifically required by persons with disabilities in order to use the service. These include:
- Access to interlingual subtitles, audio description and sign language interpreting when they are included with programmes;
- Control over user interface presentation text size, colours, etc.;
- Spoken output of menus, electronic programme guides and other on-screen text.
People requiring these features may often use television in a family setting where universal design features such as subtitles or large text may be switched on and off by different family members, depending on who is watching. It is therefore important that these features are easy to activate.
This is of particular importance for the most commonly used universal design feature subtitles. However, if the equipment contains other universal design features, such as a configurable user interface or spoken output, users may have bought that particular item because of those features, so they might also be considered essential in that case. For example, in a 2004 U.S. Survey of people with disabilities by Fain, the provision of dedicated buttons on the remote control for toggling subtitles and audio description were given the maximum usefulness rating by almost all deaf and blind participants.
Directions and techniques
Enable users to instantly switch content access services on and off (high priority)
The remote control should include at least one dedicated button to activate and deactivate access services during viewing.
A button for closed subtitles can be labelled S. In regions where subtitles for people who are deaf or hard of hearing are called ‘captions’, it would be more approriate to label it CC which stands for closed captions. A button for audio description can be labelled AD. The words Subtitles, Captions and Audio Description can be used as labels if they can fit legibly within the design of the remote control.
If it is not possible to include dedicated buttons for each access service, a single button can be provided with an option within a set-up menu to change its function from one access service to another, for example from subtitle activation to audio description activation.