03.11.20

Accessible TV guide launched

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Freeview has launched the first roll out of its award-winning Accessible TV Guide, designed to make it simpler for viewers with accessibility needs, such as visual impairments or hearing loss, to find content.

Now available on Channel 555 on supported Freeview Play devices, the Accessible TV Guide has been developed with insight from viewers, advocacy groups, and accessibility research agencies, such as the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), Scope and the Digital Accessibility Centre. 

Winning gold at this year’s Connected TV Awards for ‘Advancing the User Experience’, the TV guide is the first accessible solution to launch on a UK platform and includes multiple features to help those with accessibility needs. 

For the visually impaired, the guide is easy to navigate with a high contrast UI, screen magnification, and a text-to-speech function. 

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Once the viewer selects Channel 555 on a supported device, they will be asked to choose their accessibility preferences: ‘Use text-to-speech for on screen navigation’, ‘Show only programmes with audio description’, ‘Show only programmes with subtitles’, and ‘Show only programmes with sign language’.

The guide will then show a filtered version of the linear TV schedule depending on the viewer’s chosen preferences. 

The Accessible TV Guide will be rolling out across the full range of Freeview Play devices over the coming months. Currently only available on selected devices, it might require a TV retune to receive the Accessible TV Guide. 

New features are due to launch on the guide next year, alongside regular updates that will incorporate user feedback. New features include the integration of Freeview Play’s on demand content recommendations, which will be filtered according to each viewer’s needs.