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08.07.2016 | Long Paper | Ausgabe 3/2017

Universal Access in the Information Society 3/2017

Promoting interactive television (iTV) accessibility: an adapted service for users with visual impairments

Zeitschrift:
Universal Access in the Information Society > Ausgabe 3/2017
Autoren:
Rita Oliveira, Jorge Ferraz de Abreu, Ana Margarida Almeida

Abstract

In spite of the wide dissemination of technologies and digital resources, people with special needs still find barriers and difficulties in accessing and using many of the information technology services currently available. This problem is particularly critical in usage scenarios involving mass media devices like television (TV), particularly taking in consideration its interactive format with all advanced features it brings. In this context, the creation of inclusion strategies becomes essential for increasing digital literacy and citizens’ capacity to participate in different areas using advanced services such as interactive television (iTV). In this framework, this paper introduces a study from the Portuguese context regarding universal design issues on the iTV scope, which aims at the conceptualization, prototyping and validation of an iTV service specifically designed to look on visually impaired users’ needs. With the development of this iTV service, the authors intend to allow access to adapted television content (such as audio described content) to visually impaired users (VIU), as well as making its user interface accessible for this type of users. The methodology of this study was based on the grounded theory (in the first stage) and the evaluative study method (in the second and third stage). In the first stage, the difficulties and needs of VIU as consumers of television contents and audio description services were identified. In the second stage, the adapted iTV prototype was conceptualized and developed. Regarding the third stage, it included the prototyped service evaluation by a group of visually impaired participants. In the end of the study, the participants who were involved in the prototype tests showed satisfaction with the features offered by the system as well as with the design of its interface.

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