The FCC has issued an addendum to the Accessibility of Video Programming regulation (Title 47-Chapter 1 –Subchapter C-Part 79-Subpart B-§79.108) requiring pay TV operators to provide devices with accessibility options for their subscribers who are blind or visually impaired. More specifically, the required changes and upgrades to navigation and digital devices (TV’s, laptops, tablets, smartphones, media players, applications, STB’s, etc.) are addressed under this new rule by the FCC.
Upon request by the subscriber, operators must be able to provide a method with audibly accessible menus and guides for a blind or visually impaired individual to navigate and consume TV content and related services. The FCC refers to this capability of the device speaking the selected items as the user navigates the UI as a “Talking Guide”. This regulation is now enforced for large operators and will be in effect for smaller operators by December 20, 2018. It is important to note that this regulation does not mandate use of a voice command input.
Operators using Minerva’s platform, both iTVFusion 5 and Minerva 10, have FCC approved methods for meeting this requirement. Minerva’s mobile applications leverage the accessibility capabilities that exist on both IOS (VoiceOver) and Android (Text to Speech) phones to read the UI as the user navigates through the application. Users can also apply other accessibility features such as zoom and magnify to navigate the application. The remote control feature of the YourTV app allows commands to be entered on the phone and then sent to the STB.
Operators offering OTT services with mobile phones have this capability today without modification to your currently deployed YourTV applications. If you would like additional information on how to add or expand your OTT services, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on the FCC full release of §79.108 – Video Programming Guides and Menus Provided by Navigation Devices: