Promoting IPTV accessibility for visually impaired users: implementation of an adapted service

Oliveira, R., Abreu, J., Almeida, M. Proceedings of the DSAI 2013 - International Conference on Software Development for Enhancing Accessibility and Fighting Info-exclusion

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 (IT) services currently available. This problem is particularly critical in usage scenarios involving mass media devices like Television (TV), specially 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 like Interactive Television (iTV). Universal Design shows up as the appropriate approach to answer this problem, since the systems that are shaped based on this methodology make available the accommodation of a wide range of human skills, abilities, needs and preferences.

In this framework, this paper introduces a research related to universal design issues on the iTV scope, which aims the conceptualization, prototyping and validation of an IPTV service specifically designed to look on visually impaired users’ needs. The presented results are based on the second phase of this research, which intended the conceptualization and development of the prototype. Accordingly, we describe the elicitation process of the technical and functional requirements that led us to the implementation and test of the advanced and customizable features of an adapted IPTV service.