The DTG Accessibility Working Group maintains the U-Book, the UK Digital TV Usability and Accessibility Guidelines, including Text to Speech.
The U-Book contains three parts:
- Part A – Usability Guidelines: information on the best industry practices for ensuring a good, usable customer experience when using digital television products. This part includes guidance on remote controls, Electronic Programme Guides, User Interfaces, labelling, user documentation, etc.
- Part B – Accessibility Guidelines: offers guidelines to manufacturers wishing to incorporate accessibility features into their products. This includes audio description, subtitles and text-to-speech features.
- Part C – Connected TV Implementation Guidelines: these are currently under development by the Working Group and expected to be published later this year.
The U-Book complements the D-Book. In addition, the DTG Receiver Recommendations give details of the mandatory requirements for accessibility features in receivers.
The challenges that disabled and older people face when using television can be divided between interface accessibility barriers and impediments in using the television content itself. The U-Book provides guidance on both these areas.
Also, as more and more features are added to television products and services, some viewers find them more complicated to use. The advent of Connected TV brings many benefits to viewers, bringing together traditional television services with Internet-based content.
Connected TV gives consumers more choice and more interactivity. However, the added functionality and jargon of Connected TV can create new challenges for accessibility and usability. The Connected TV chapter in the U-Book helps manufacturers in addressing those barriers. Connected TV also offers new prospects for improved accessibility beyond what could be done with traditional solutions. The U-Book’s Connected TV section identifies these opportunities to harness Connected TV as a means to bring innovation to accessibility-related features and content.
An updated to the U-Book – version 4 – will be published later this year.