About these Guidelines

These Universal Design guidelines for Digital TV equipment and services were developed by the Centre for Excellence in Universal Design (CEUD) at the National Disability Authority between December 2010 and December 2011.

Guidelines development team

The research and authoring of the guidelines was commissioned by the CEUD to theNCBI Centre for Inclusive Technology (CFIT). Research and guideline development was led by Dr Mark Magennis with the assistance of Dr Antoinette Fennell.Peter Olaf Looms acted as external advisor to NCBI. The draft guidelines were peer reviewed byGuido Gybels.

Steering group

A steering group for the project was co-chaired by CEUD with the eInclusion Unit from the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources and comprised of a mix of policy makers and broadcasters:

  • Albert Jordan (steering group co-chair). Department of Communication, Energy and Natural Resources;
  • Susan Fleming. Department of Communication, Energy and Natural Resources, broadcasting unit;
  • Isabel Charleton. RTÉ, Access Services;
  • Anne O’Connor, RTÉ;
  • Mary Curtis. RTÉ, SAORVIEW;
  • Sinéad Casey. RTÉ, SAORVIEW;
  • Roger Woods, Broadcasting Authority of Ireland.

Development process

The development of the guidelines followed a Universal Design process both in terms of researching the requirements of Digital TV viewers but also by involving the ultimate audience for the guidelines, namely broadcasters, television service providers, policy makers and user representative bodies in the development and testing of the guidelines.

The guidelines were developed using an evidence-based, iterative and user-centred process as follows:

1. An extensive literature review of over 88 existing DTV accessibility and usability materials was conducted.

2. A survey of 80 television users in Ireland which covered a wide geographic spread and comprised of people covering a wide range of abilities, ages and disabilities. This survey identified the main issues that people in Ireland encounter with Digital TV equipment and services such as the complexity of on-screen menuing systems and programming guides. This survey also provided a valuable source of quotations from real peoples’ experiences that are used to motivate and illustrate the guidelines.

3. Interviews and user testing with potential guidelines users including broadcasters, policy makers, manufacturers, etc. This survey assisting in keeping the guidelines grounded in what the target audience for the guidelines want and need from this information.

A first draft of the guidelines was circulated for public consultation in October 2011. Valuable feedback was received from a number of interested parties including:

  • Gerry Ellis, FeelTheBenefIT;
  • Michael Tighe, Irish Hard of Hearing Association (IHHA);
  • Digital Europe (the European industry representative body);
  • Different Abilities (USA);
  • Leen Petrie, RNIB.