Comcast's Leadership in Accessible Technology Honored by American Foundation for the Blind
On June 16, the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Helen Keller Achievement Award in New York, acknowledging those who have made extraordinary efforts to improve the quality of life for people with vision loss.
Comcast Corporation was awarded for its pioneering Xfinity X1 technology and the 2015 launch of the industry’s first voice guided TV interface, allowing customers with a visual disability to operate settings and explore programming independently via the X1 Voice Remote, which is now in the homes of 6 million customers. Comcast made headlines again in 2015 when its video-described broadcast of NBC's The Wiz Live! became the first live entertainment program in U.S. history to be accessible to people with vision loss.
Tom Wlodkowski, Vice President, Accessibility, accepted the award on behalf of Comcast. Since joining the Comcast family in 2012, Tom has spearheaded strategic planning focused on enriching the customer experience for the disability community by cultivating the technology of Comcast products and services. Since Tom's arrival, Comcast has ascended to the industry lead in accessible television technology, with innovations that include enhanced closed captioning, improved readability settings for the X1 guide, video description and more.
Headquartered in New York, the AFB is a national nonprofit with a mission to expand possibilities for people with vision loss by broadening access to technology, elevating the quality of tools for the professionals who serve people with vision loss and providing resources to increase the quality of life for people and families affected. Proceeds from the fundraising gala will extend to AFB, enabling the organization to continue serving with endless possibilities.
Additional honorees included Rebecca Alexander, a psychotherapist, spin instructor, volunteer, and an extreme athlete who is almost completely blind and deaf and works to help individuals, couples, and groups specializing in the treatment of addiction, anxiety, and mood disorders. She is the sister of Peter Alexander of NBC News, who was also in attendance, along with Shanice Williams, star of NBC's The Wiz Live!