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 additional guidance for user interfaces and remote controls relating to access services, audio description services , subtitles and text-to-speech features.
- Part C – Appendix: offers a selection of normative references and standards as well as recommended readings.
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. Additionally, through new technologies and an increased mainstream use of accessibility features, even being used by children, the U-Book continues to evolve as a living document to always provide the latest guidance.
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.