The full line of 2017 Philips brand televisions and video players now offers Enhanced Accessibility to allow blind and visually impaired users to control the devices’ functions. Adding Enhanced Accessibility to products entails the addition of voice guide descriptive menus, easy to read user interface, guide dots on remote controls, easy access to closed captioning/subtitles and secondary audio, easy access to support, and an easy way to identify these products both at retail and on the Philips website with the help of an Enhanced Accessibility logo.
The user interface voice guide and other features are new requirements established by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as part of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 (CVAA). The new rules mandate that certain built-in functions in TVs, Blu-ray players, and DVD players, among other consumer electronics products, be usable by individuals who are blind or visually impaired. The deadline for meeting the new requirements was December 20 2016.
Remote controls on the affected Philips products feature guide dots so that users can easily control key functions, such as power on/off, volume adjustment and mute, channel selection, playback functions, input selection, and other important functions. The new rules mandate that any key functions available only via an on-screen menu must offer user interface voice guides, with the menu options spoken and user selections audibly confirmed.
Philips groups these new capabilities under its Enhanced Accessibility feature set, which also includes an easy-to-read and navigate user interface, large format support information, and closed captioning, a long-mandated requirement for assisting the hearing impaired.
“The FCC regulations on Enhanced Accessibility allow us to design our products so they can be enjoyed by more consumers,” said Karl Bearnarth, executive vice president, sales and marketing, P&F USA, Inc., the exclusive North American licensee for Philips consumer televisions and home video products. “We took this initiative very seriously and were determined to ensure that our entire line of TVs and video players, including basic DVD players, met the requirements and that they were as intuitive as possible to use for those who are visually impaired.”
The full line of Philips Enhanced Accessibility enabled TVs can be seen here.