Berne, 13 December 2016
Digitisation offers great opportunities for people with impairments. Voice-command for smartphones and computers is already available. Yet access to many services is still difficult for people with a sensory impairment. They need aids like subtitles, sign language or audio descriptions to enjoy TV content, for instance. Only few TV programmes currently offer these features and they are often difficult to find.
Swisscom now eases access for people with impairments to these help functions on Swisscom TV. Customers can now activate subtitles, audio descriptions and sign language for TV programmes with these features in “Settings”. Content with such enhancements are then highlighted in the programme overview. Highlighting particularly benefits the visually impaired. As Isabelle Kosch, Swisscom TV Strategic Product Developer remarks: "We are aware that this is just a first step. So we are planning to extend our accessible TV services. As of 15 December all customers with the current UHD TV-Box can enjoy the new features.
Swisscom developed the new functions in close cooperation with ZHAW’s ICT Accessibility Lab and tested them in relevant focus groups. "Swisscom’s attention to the special needs of people with sensory impairments in developing their TV product is an important signal - and valuable contribution to inclusion", says Prof. Dr. Alireza Darvishy, Head of the ZHAV ICT Accessibility Lab commenting on Swisscom’s commitment.
Swisscom offers customers with a speech or auditory impairment a special support channel via chat. In cooperation with the procom foundation the company also offers a free transcription service for calls. Together with Procap Schweiz, Swisscom trains hotline and Swisscom Shop staff in professional conduct towards people with impairments. Accessibility is part of Swisscom’s commitment to the promotion of media competency. Swisscom aims to help one million people use media safely and responsibly by 2020.