When we’re developing products, it’s important that we get input from customers. This is especially important when we’re working to make products more accessible to customers with disabilities.
My team’s goal is to get input early and often, so we can incorporate customer feedback throughout the process. This fall, we hosted a series of roundtable discussions with organizations representing the deaf and hard of hearing community and the blind and low vision community (the full list is below). This is a great way for us to engage disability advocates and technology experts in a dialogue around a range of topics to inform our overall strategy and product roadmaps. We covered everything - from products in development, to our new call center designed to offer specific support for customers with disabilities, to a tour of our accessibility lab and how to market accessible products to people with disabilities.
One of the topics we were most excited to cover was our new "Talking Guide" feature which we announced last month. Talking Guide enables customers to hear channel names and numbers, time slots and program details read aloud. This new feature will enable customers who are blind or have low vision to explore our X1 Platform in entirely new ways. If you haven’t seen the news, check it out here.
The folks we met with had great feedback on Talking Guide. But they also gave us a lot of new ideas to think about. One of the ideas from the deaf community was to make sure that wherever we implement voice control, we also implement the ability to input text (so you can say "show me movies on HBO" or have the option to type it in instead). So last week, we pulled some of our top engineers together for a Lab Week to try and make text input possible through our X1 Remote app. We now have a proof of concept to test with consumers.
Improving accessibility is a journey, not a destination. Input from the disability community is critical to delivering a rich customer experience. We’ll keep talking as we continue to enhance our existing features and build our roadmap for the future. If you have a question or comment about our accessibility efforts, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
List of accessibility roundtable participants:
* American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD)
* American Council of the Blind (ACB)
* American Foundation for the Blind (AFB)
* Associated Services for the Blind (ASB)
* Blinded Veterans Association (BVA)
* Deaf-Hearing Communication Centre, Inc.
* Gallaudet University
* Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA)
* Inglis Foundation
* National Association of the Deaf (NAD)
* National Federation of the Blind (NFB)
* Overbrook School for the Blind
* PA School for the Deaf
* Telecommunications for the Deaf, Inc. (TDI)