On September 10, 2010 several COAT leaders met via teleconference with the newly-formed CEA Working Group on Video Accessibility. These accessibility experts included Dana Mulvany, Ron Vickery (HLAA), Larry Goldberg (WGBH-NCAM), Patik Pratel (ACB) and Cheryl Heppner (NVRC).
Discussion included defining what the scope of work would be as the group looks at technical standards to promote accessibility. The current focus is on standards for remote controls to enable navigation for people who are blind and visually impaired. The immediate focus is specifically on bringing to the remote control the ability to identify a starting point in the same way as the “nibs” do on a QWERTY keyboard’s F and J keys.
As there was not a member of the deaf-blind community already on the Working Group, advocates believe a representative, such as from COAT affiliate AADB, should be brought into the discussion because there can be additional challenges for those who have hearing loss as well as vision loss. For example, when pressing a key or button a good practice is to have an audible click or tone that lets the user know when enough pressure has been provided in giving a “command” via the key.
The online meeting included CART and the group intends to meet every two weeks, with next meeting scheduled for Friday October 8.
See also previous COAT story online.