Many people mistakenly believe that visually impaired people cannot watch TV. Well, the fact is that whether it is a TV show or Tokyo Olympics 2021, visually impaired people can now enjoy the television experience as much as anyone of us.
From Game of Thrones to the Friends Reunion, and NFL league games to News, visually impaired people can enjoy any show of their liking. Thanks to the evolution of TV software and hardware offers a way for the visually impaired to watch their favorite Netflix seasons, cheer for their favorite sports team, or feel the nail-biting intensity of the Olympics 2021.
So without further ado, let us dive into some of the ways Television sets and channels are not becoming accessible to the visually impaired.
6 Devices and Solutions for Visually Impaired to Watch Television
Here are six of the innovative and commonly available options for the visually impaired to watch TV, sports, and Olympics 2021. The most important solutions for the visually impaired to watch TV include the following.
1. Built-in Screen Readers
These are audio descriptions and a built-in screen reader. A built-in screen reader within a television set actually allows the partially or completely visually impaired person to sit back while the TV speaks out the text.
For example, the TV will read out the available program menus and guides. This way, what a normally sighted person will see, a visually impaired person will be able to hear. While some TV sets come with fully functional audio description capabilities, other only offer features to read our guides and menus. However, both types of televisions sets are quite expensive.
2. Talking Remote Controls
Talking remote controls allow visually impaired people to speak to their remote control to change the channel or play a certain program. The voice control option is one of the most innovative and user-friendly technology available for the visually impaired.
Plus, these remotes do come with tactile keys/buttons that allow the visually impaired to get a hint on where each button is. However, the technology has a long way to go before it can start making any substantial difference in the lives of those with partial or complete visual impairment.
Alexa is an artificial intelligence-based device that allows the visually impaired to interact verbally. For example, giving commands to playback music, make a to-do list, stream podcasts, play audiobooks, and set an alarm, etc. The device can also provide updates on the latest sports events and weather in realtime.
4. Audio Description
This technology has been around for a while but it is still available only on some programs and channels. In this technology, a visually impaired person will be able to hear someone narrate what is happening on the screen.
So instead of a computer or an artificial intelligence program reading it out as a story, a visually impaired person will hear an actual person read out what is on the TV screen. However, there is a need to include this technology in more on-demand TV programs and channels.
Audio description is also available on video on demand (VOD) services. Not all of them offer this but premium services such as Amazon Prime and Netflix allow you to download their content and keep an audio description file for the benefit of the visually impaired or others.
This way, all the family members can now enjoy their favorite Friends episodes or any other series of their choice. Do not worry about disturbance due to the audio description sound. The visually impaired loved one can put on a headset to hear the description while you enjoy the audio-visual content.
5. Changing Contrast and Text Size
This solution is more like a tweak you can do for partially visually impaired family members. If they can see to some extent, you may be able to make a few adjustments in your TV settings and improve their viewing experience. For example,
• You can increase the text size on your TV screen
• You can change the font size and adopt clearer icons and fonts to make the screen look neat and easy to understand.
• You can also adjust or change the color contrast on your television screen
• You can use the screen magnification option (only if it is available on your television set).
6. Vision Buddy
This new kid on the block will allow you to connect it with any TV cable box and start enjoying the features it has to offer. Vision Buddy will support any TV or Cable provider’s box such as Apple TV, Cox, and Comcast, etc.
All you need is to connect your cable box with the Vision Buddy streamer via an HDMI port. You can always call and ask the Vision Buddy team if you want to make sure that the device is compatible with your cable or TV box.
Once you have connected the Vision Buddy with the cable box, it is time to turn on your vision buddy headsets. The moment you power it on, the headset will connect to the streamer automatically, and you will straight away start watching the live video.
If you wish to change the channels simply use your cable or TV box’s remote. Vision Buddy is undoubtedly the world’s first, best, and pocket-friendly TV watching solution for the visually impaired.
Tips for Visually Impaired
Apart from the above-mentioned devices and solutions, here are some additional tips for the partially visually impaired to improve their TV experience.
• Reduce the glare on your TV
• Try to sit a little bit closer to your TV set
• Get an electronic screen or larger TV
• Use TV glasses if you can
• You can also try a monocular
• Learn to use your remote efficiently
Whether you or a loved one was born with visual impairment or it resulted due to aging or some kind of accident, everyone can enjoy the TV, sports, and Olympics 2021. The solution you choose may depend on the extent of your visual impairment. However, you must invest in pocket-friendly options.
If you wish to learn about what more ways a Vision Buddy can help improve the lives of the visually impaired, feel free to read other blogs by our team.