April 21, 2015
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) Many assume that visually impaired and blind people do not use their televisions much. But, that is hardly the case.
It is also why one company is unveiling a “talking TV guide.”
Beth Sekelik teaches the visually impaired at the Western Pennsylvania School for Blind Children.
“They are able to tell what is on. They can scan through the channels and know how much time is left per show, so I think it’s really great that they can make some choices,” Sekelik said.
Comcast demonstrated a talking guide that reads the selections aloud including program titles, network names and time slots. It also works for DVR items and On-Demand settings.
“People who have visual disabilities or who are blind, they love pop culture and they want to be part of it and this gives them a chance to access all of that,” Comcast’s Bob Grove said.
It gives them information they previously didn’t have.
“Reading the screen for viewing like if you want to scroll down through movies, there is too much on the screen at one time and it goes too fast,” Delbert Rankin said.
“She wasn’t saying much and she watched the demo and she came up to me and she said I can channel surf now like everybody else, and it really made you feel good and it really shows you it underscores how important this is to people with visual disabilities,” Grove said.
Comcast says the talking TV guide is available to all users on its X1 platform and is free to all users.