I was recently updating the apps on my iPhone; something I frequently do since I’m at around 173 installed apps. I really do need to do some major cleaning up. Anyway… while I was waiting for the updates to complete, I noticed that the CBC TV app had an update. It had been a long time since the last one, so I decided to read the update notes. Turns out, it was a huge boon, accessibility-wise.
Quote taken from the app description:
“Greater Accessibility – As part of our ongoing commitment to make our programming available to all Canadians, the new CBC TV app now supports VoiceOver.
In addition to Closed Captioning, we have included Described Video audio tracks (when available), enabled with a simple tap.”
So, there you have it. Easily accessed descriptive video. Traditionally, descriptive video has been located on the second audio programming channel, (SAP). The issue with that has always been, how does one get to that feature. It’s never been standardized. For example, on one of our TVs at home, you get there by cycling through the language audio channels; 1 toggling button, that’s fine. I can handle that. On the other TV however, it’s hidden under a sub menu found under options and then audio. You got to love product designers. I sometimes question their logic, or lack thereof; but I digress.
Don’t think descriptive video is worth looking into? My wife actually turns it on when she leaves the room, or when she’s busy doing something else, so she doesn’t miss any salient points in her Coronation Street. To be honest, I don’t use descriptive video all of the time, but I like having the option of turning it on and off at will.
CBC certainly isn’t the first organization who has added full Voiceover support and descriptive video to their app. Take for example Netflix. Their descriptive narration is simply amazing. We recently watched Daredevil and Jessica Black and I marveled at the quality in unobtrusive nature of their narration style. I’m pretty sure the narrators even enjoyed themselves.
At any rate, I hope that other organizations that have streaming video will follow suit and integrate accessibility into their app and make a similar commitment to access for all. You can find the CBC TV app by following this link: