Accessibility is a core requirement for the partners responsible for Project Canvas, which will be reflected both in the requirements included in the Digital TV Group’s (DTG) ‘Connected TV’ work and in the user interface design promoted by the Canvas venture.
The Canvas venture will also propose best practice accessibility models to content providers.
As a platform, Canvas will work to the following principles:
1. Recognising the diversity of disabled audiences, which includes – but is not limited to – blind and partially sighted, deaf and hard of hearing audiences, people with severe motor impairments, with literacy or learning difficulties and with cognitive disorders.
2. Seeking to enable disabled audiences toaccess content and services as they want to rather than offering one-size-fits-all, fixed solutions.
3. Ensuring close stakeholder engagement, not just with the consumer electronics industry, but specifically with organisations with expertise in access issues, such as lobby groups, academics and specialist businesses as well as the DTG.
4. Seeking to make Canvas aligned to and at least as accessible as the Help Scheme specification.
5. Setting minimum standards to guarantee as good a user experience as possible for disabled audiences but which do not preclude device manufacturers from going further.
6. Providing a high-quality, accessible user interface for all Canvas branded devices. Also ensuring that, where relevant, learnings are reflected in other IP-enabled devices.
7. Future-proofing accessibility on Canvas by enabling software updates for new Access solutions as they become available and by aiming to provide interfaces through which third parties can develop custom add-ons.
These will be applied in five key Access areas that Canvas will address in developing its roadmap around accessibility and as it finalises its specifications. Those are to:
1. Support access services
2. Support connectivity
3. Support accessibility software on connected devices
4. Offer a customisable user interface (UI)
5. Remote control design that meets industry best practice for accessibility
Further details of the prospective roadmap have been provided to the BBC Trust during its consultation and Canvas continues to develop its accessibility roadmap in discussion between the partners and with the industry in line with the principles set out above.
Project Canvas Accessibility Features
Project Canvas includes a range of accessibility features and services which will be available at launch, as well as a number of additional features which can be added to Canvas set-top boxes via a software upgrade.
Features included at launch
Access Services (where provided by the content provider)
* Support for subtitles and audio description for standard definition (SD) linear broadcast content
* Support for subtitles and audio description for high definition (HD) linear broadcast content
* Support for subtitles and audio description for video-on-demand (VOD) and other off-schedule content (BBC iPlayer standards)
* Navigation for access services
* Magnifier with dedicated button on the supplied remote control
* Alternative high visibility user interface
* Audio feedback to enable users with poor vision to determine whether or not an action has been successful or not
* Screen typeface that will ensure the core user interface (UI) is legible and readable
* Optional opaque interface background to improve text readability and legibility
* Dedicated Audio Description and subtitles buttons on all Canvas remote controls
Features available via software upgrade
* Alternative user interface colours for those with Dyslexia, ADHD or ASD
* Application Programming Interface (API) for text-to-speech, via a separate voice enabled device such as a smartphone or PC laptop connected to Canvas box via an API
* Support for onscreen remote control and keyboard for switch users
* Support for standard USB HCI drivers for keyboards, gamepads and mouse buttons
* A simple API to emulate remote control key presses
* An API for enhancing accessibility via second screen style applications on connected devices potentially maximising access for people who use assistive technologies such as magnifiers, screenreaders, switches etc.
UK terrestrial broadcaster Channel 5 has rejoined Project Canvas after new owner Richard Desmond confirmed his commitment to the IPTV consortium.
canvasinfo: #ChannelFive rejoins #projectcanvas. Richard Desmond says open #iptv platform will “shape the future of broadcasting” http://is.gd/eAplq
canvasinfo: #project canvas calls out for expressions of interest from device manufacturers to bring Canvas devices to market http://tinyurl.com/2u9uet8
canvasinfo: @alistairallan only doc on our site so far is content protection – others via DTG. More docs to be published on canvas site in Sept.
canvasinfo: #project canvas Erik Huggers comments on Kip Meek’s appointment as Chairman as an important moment for Canvas http://tinyurl.com/378jqlu
canvasinfo: # projectcanvas Kip Meek to become Chairman of Project Canvas http://tinyurl.com/337slso
canvasinfo: Sorry for the random messages that have been posted today from our news tracker. We’ve stopped this happening.