Blog August 26, 2020

Charter’s Commitment to Accessibility: Changing the Video Experience for the Blind

Charter is focused on providing product experiences that work for everyone. We heard from blind customers who wanted a way to watch movies with sighted friends, who may find audio descriptions distracting. That’s one reason we launched Spectrum Access.

The typical audio description experience requires viewers to change the movie’s language to “audio description,” meaning the audio description is built in to the movie’s audio track. Spectrum Access makes it possible to get the audio description through your phone speaker or ear buds, so everyone in the room can laugh and gasp at a movie together. It enables a freedom and an un-tethering of the audio description experience.

Spectrum Access is an innovative solution and Charter wants to get the technology into as many people’s hands as possible. Anyone is able to download it from an app store and use it for free, regardless of whether they subscribe to Spectrum TV. And the app works with a movie playing on any platform, from DVD to streaming by your cable provider or your favorite streaming service – you can even auto-sync the audio description in the middle of the show. In addition to supporting movies, Spectrum Access expanded its library of supported content over the summer to include TV shows (beginning with Spectrum Originals), and began offering audio description and movie audio tracks that have been translated into Spanish.

Charter is committed to making our products and services accessible to the widest possible audience, and Spectrum Access is just the latest example of that commitment. Spectrum also offers accessibility solutions like closed captioning, readable voicemail, Braille and large-print statements, Spectrum Guide Narration, and more. Our Accessibility team utilizes assistive technology and universal design principles to transform the way customers experience and interact with our products and services. Products like Spectrum Mobile and the Spectrum TV App are designed with accessibility in mind from the start, and are what we call “born accessible” meaning accessibility features were incorporated in the initial design process and are accessible out of the box.

Charter is committed to diversity and inclusion in every aspect of our business, and as we strive to deliver high-quality products and services that exceed our customers’ expectations, we embrace the unique backgrounds, perspectives and experiences of our customers, employees, and partners. From making our products fully accessible to delivering high-quality programming and content, our offerings serve many abilities, cultures, languages and interests, and Charter strives to provide our more than 30 million customers in 41 states with products and services that represent the full diversity of the U.S.