Carroll Center Extends Partnership with Samsung Electronics to Test New Smart TV Innovation and Accessibility Features

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The Carroll Center for the Blind is continuing its partnership with Samsung Electronics, which began in 2013, by conducting user testing of the new Smart TV portfolio with blind and visually impaired consumers.

Samsung SmartTV in silver
We are thrilled to partner with companies like Samsung who are committed to providing equal access to their products and technology for all consumers, including those who are blind and visually impaired,

The Carroll Center for the Blind, a vision rehabilitation center with more than 75 years of experience in training individuals to live more fully with vision loss, also provides accessibility services through its Accessibility Services team. “We evaluate web content for accessibility, perform user testing on consumer products to provide feedback about use by consumers with little or no vision and work with educational institutions to ensure their online courses are accessible to blind and low vision students,” explained Brian Charlson, Director of Technology at the Carroll Center.

Globally recognized for championing product usability among blind and visually impaired consumers, the Carroll Center is Samsung’s primary U.S. partner for accessibility testing. The ability to master technologies that provide equal access to information is critical for blind and visually impaired individuals to successfully compete for employment.

“We are thrilled to partner with companies like Samsung who are committed to providing equal access to their products and technology for all consumers, including those who are blind and visually impaired,” said Carroll Center President, Joseph Abely. “The Carroll Center teaches consumers with vision loss to live independent and productive lives, including how to seek opportunities for gainful employment. Knowing that manufacturers of mainstream consumer products are doing what they can to provide equal access for our clients is extremely important to our mission.”

In developing Samsung’s new Smart TVs – which are expected to hit U.S. retail locations in March – the Carroll Center’s blind testers were asked to provide feedback on a variety of Smart TV features and product specifications including:

The “Voice Guide,” which converts text to an audible voice output. Samsung continues to expand the quantity of menus and program guide features which can be read aloud by the Smart TV.
Visual accessibility enhancements such as contrast, color and magnification.
Tactile construction and layout of the TV remote.

Samsung also asked the Carroll Center’s Accessibility Services team to review their FCC Compliance Checklist. The CVAA requires manufacturers of Smart TVs to maintain records and report their efforts to improve the accessibility of their products.

As a result of the testing and evaluation, Samsung engineers made several adjustments to the Smart TVs and additional recommendations were noted for future innovation and enhancements. All of these adjustments are in accordance with the new U.S. government requirements for access to televised content, as outlined in the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA). Samsung’s thorough accessibility solutions make its Smart TVs easy to use and more enjoyable for all consumers, including those who are visually impaired.

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Dina Rosenbaum
@CarrollCenter
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