Smart TVs, wearables added to accessibility list

The international association representing wireless device manufacturers today added two new categories to the Global Accessibility Reporting Initiative (GARI) website at www.gari.info – one to highlight the accessibility features of Smart TV’s and the other for Wearable devices.

GARI is a project developed by the Mobile Manufacturers Forum (MMF) and now provides accessibility information on 1100 different mobile phone devices around the world. Dozens of organizations including government regulators, industry organizations, corporations and accessibility groups reference the GARI as a part of their accessibility communication frameworks.

“On the International Day of People with Disabilities, it seems fitting that we are extending GARI with these two new categories – further empowering consumers through the provision of information on the accessibility features within these devices” MMF Secretary General Michael Milligan said.

Mr. Milligan said that over the past months, the MMF and its members have worked on a list of 57 accessibility features for Smart TVs and Wearables, that companies participating in the GARI initiative will now report against.

Like for mobile phones, there are many accessibility features in these devices available today, but it can be hard for consumers to learn about these features and which devices support them. GARI provides the perfect platform to address this need.

While the list of accessibility features for Wearables is similar to the list of over 100 features already curated for mobile phones and tablets, the Smart TV category brings a number of entirely new features to GARI, including…

  • AudioDescriptionforBroadcastVideo
  •  VoicedElectronicProgrammeGuide(EPG) • VoiceGuideSettings
  •  PreferenceforVideoDescription

“These features can, for example, make an enormous difference to a customer with vision impairment” Mr Milligan said.

“Right now, we are only at the very beginning with these two new categories but we aim to have the Smart TV and Wearables categories achieve the same wide coverage of products in the market as we have achieved in the mobile phone space.” Mr Milligan added.

“The feature lists will also be reviewed based on stakeholder consultation, so they will continue to grow and evolve, ensuring that GARI serves its purpose of empowering consumers through information and driving accessibility through user demand.” Mr Milligan added.