An Endorsement for Things That Talk


by MATP Staff Member Cathy McAdam

tv remote close up showing microphone buttonI’m going to spend some time writing about a cable provider who is getting this accessibility thing right, but it’s not an endorsement for Comcast, more of an endorsement for universal design in this digital age. Yes, I am a person who is blind who does “watch” TV. Most providers now are getting pieces of this puzzle known as accessibility, and that’s part of the problem. Part way there leads to wanting more and frustration when something doesn’t work.

I’m having a good time with my TV remote!

I can, if I choose, talk to it to switch channels, or I can press a button and get feedback that I’ve chosen the correct channel, no easy feat with HD. With the press of another button I hear “what’s on now” and if I choose to record something I’m given prompts all the way through the process.

This is truly the first time I can record, play back recordings and manage options for deleting programs when I’m done with them. I can also find and play on demand shows.

With my last provider I could do some of these things using an app, but I couldn’t delete recorded programs, or find on demand offerings. And, I needed a second device rather than the nearby remote. And, oh yes, I get detailed descriptions of shows so I can decide if they may be worth my time.

By the way, I’m not a huge TV fan these days, but I love the “control” I have in this mundane part of my life!

The Business Case

So, what do you think the effect on marketing is for businesses who “get it”. They know many and even most people will never use these options, but they also know it’s a smart business decision in the long run.

Do you have a favorite mainstream talking device?


  • Blog article: Technology for the Blind
  • US Business Leadership Network

What do you think? Let us know!