Accessibility isn’t just important in the physical realm. As society begins to immerse itself even more into modern day technology, specific accommodations need to be developed with that in mind.
Thankfully, Congress saw this. In 2010, they passed the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act, or CCVA. Signed by President Barack Obama, this Act updates the outdated regulations for accessibility established in the 1980’s and 1990’s in order to better suit today’s digital environment.
What Does the CCVA Require?
The CCVA added several new requirements to today’s accessibility laws so that users with disabilities can have access to digital technology, mobile technology, and broadband. It’s broken down into two separate areas:
- Broadband Related Products and Services
- Internet and Television Programming
Coupled with the FCC’s responsibility for controlling the closed captioning standards for television, these laws and regulations make today’s technology, media and entertainment more widely usable.
Examples of Accessibility in Entertainment
Over the years, most companies have risen to the expectations detailed within these laws. Beyond that, new companies have risen up to meet the challenges preventing individuals with disabilities from enjoying certain forms of entertainment.
Below are a few examples:
Theaters and Shows Offer Headphones for a Better Listening Experience
Have you ever gone to a show and noticed some attendees are wearing headphones? It’s a trend that you’ll find on Broadway, as well as movie theaters and even live shows.
It may seem like a simple touch, but these devices have given the hearing impaired an opportunity to enjoy audible entertainment on a whole new level. Many of these devices are now wireless and less cumbersome than ever before, while allowing users to never miss a beat.
Closed Caption Glasses
You’ve seen closed captioning on televisions and screens before. It’s a common practice that can be implemented through a simple setting on your cable programming or device.
But did you know there are also closed caption glasses? Several years ago, Sony designed their high tech Entertainment Access Glasses, which project captions through the lenses so that they appear about 10-feet in front of the user.
No more bulky devices; no delay between the scene and it’s caption. The glasses keep the pace with the production, creating a seamless experience.
Video Game Console Settings
XBox One, especially, has risen above and beyond closed captioning and magnification settings. In addition to these services, users can now:
- Access ASL Support
- Use a Screen Reader to Narrate Text Content and Action Buttons
- Implement Game Chat Transcription
- Use Cortana Voice Command to Initiate Actions
- Copilot Using 2 Controllers to Accommodate Limited Mobility
In the console realm, this is truly a “game-changer”.
Applications for Hands-Free Technology
It’s purpose? To transform your mobile phone into a hands-free device.
It was designed by Oded Ben-Dov upon the request of former Israeli Navy Commander Giora Livne. Inspired by Livne’s needs as a quadriplegic, the pair teamed up to create this life-changing application that enables those with limited or no hand mobility to utilize a mobile device.
Dreamscape Foundation’s Dedication to Modern Accessibility
Why is accessibility so important? With 20 percent of Americans today living with a disability, it has become essential for entertainment and culture to adapt to these needs. Whether it’s within the realm of entertainment, technology, or physical capabilities, our efforts to bridge these gaps allow others to reach their full potential.
Discover how you can get involved to help make this world more accessible to all.
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