Connected TV service YouView is due to deliver a major upgrade aimed at making the service more accessible to TV viewers with visual and cognitive impairments.
The company has worked with the Royal National Institute for the Blind and other disability charities to implement a screen zoom feature and support for USB keyboards as well as the ‘Grid 2’ programme which lets users control their YouView box via a computer with a mouse or single button on a keyboard.
A software update will be rolled-out to shop bought YouView boxes next week and the new features will be added to BT and TalkTalk boxes early next year.
In October YouView introduced a high contrast colour scheme for the user interface and the ability to remove the mini-screen shown in some screens which can be distracting for those with cognitive impairments.
It also recently introduced text-to-speech support for its iOS and Android remote recording apps.
At a media briefing on Wednesday the enhancements were praised by the RNIB’s Steve Tyler who said they made the platform more accessible than any of its rivals.
Mr Tyler said that many people were reluctant to accept they had a visual impairment and that by embedding accessibility features into its core functionality, YouView was enabling them to continue enjoying their favourite programmes.
Susie Buckridge, Director of Product at YouView said: “We hope these accessibility updates will give a wider range of customers the means to discover great TV and radio, by providing the tools to make our user interface and mobile applications easy to navigate.
“We are particularly pleased with the new zoom function which is a UK first and will give visually impaired users a much clearer user journey.”