American Foundation for the Blind Announces 2013 Access Award Winners
NEW YORK, April 17, 2013
AT&T, Regal Entertainment Group, Panasonic, RNIB, and Best Buy lauded for
NEW YORK, April 17, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- This spring, AT&T*, Best
Buy, Panasonic, Regal Entertainment Group and the Royal National Institute of
Blind People (RNIB), will be honored with a 2013 Access Award from the
American Foundation for the Blind for improving access to a variety of
entertainment options, including television, movies, and radio.
"This year's Access Award recipients are leveling the playing field for the
more than 20 million Americans with vision loss by increasing access to
current events and pop culture," said Carl R. Augusto, president and CEO of
the American Foundation for the Blind. "We are honored to publicly recognize
these organizations for their commitment to accessibility."
Chosen annually by the American Foundation for the Blind, the Access Award
honors individuals, corporations and organizations that eliminate or
substantially reduce inequities faced by people with vision loss.
About the 2013 Access Award Recipients:
AT&T's new U-verse® Easy Remote App makes it easy for customers, including
those with disabilities such as vision and hearing loss, to control their TV
through an iPhone or iPad. AT&T U-verse is the first major TV provider to
allow customers to use voice remote control capabilities. The app was built
with a commitment to universal design and utilizes AT&T Watson(SM) speech
recognition technology via AT&T's Speech API,which uses advanced natural
language processing to recognize and understand spoken words.
Best Buy's Insignia Products team developed a sleek, new fully accessible HD
FM digital radio called the Narrator. The radio, marketed to mainstream
audiences, also incorporates access to most key features through an optional
setting that includes audio feedback. Access to channels clock and alarm is
provided in clear, digitized human speech delivered as a female voice.
As the result of a very effective collaboration with RNIB, Panasonic announced
in 2012 the availability of 30 television models in the United Kingdom
offering accessibility via a system called "Voice Guidance." Built in as
standard, and at no additional cost, customers who are blind or visually
impaired can now choose channels and programs using the speaking electronic
program guide (EPG) and menus. Similar models will soon be made available in
the United States.
Regal Entertainment Group
Regal Entertainment Group is the first movie theater chain to offer
cutting-edge technology on a national scale to assist moviegoers who are blind
or visually impaired. Regal is currently working to equip all digital cinema
locations with technology to allow viewers to partake of captioning and video
description when available.
Along with advising Panasonic, RNIB has offered instruction from RNIB
volunteers, as well as braille, large-print, and audio CD instructions for
operating Panasonic's Talking Viera models. RNIB has also invested
considerable resources to advance the development of accessible TV. This
includes working with industry and broadcasters to achieve very high levels of
video description, available on all the main TV services. And more talking
equipment options, such as the accessible HD digital TV recorder from TVonics;
the Smart Talk Freeview digital box with built-in speech to announce on-screen
information; and the Sky Talker, which provides access to the U.K. Sky
Previous award recipients include Apple, Inc., Google, the CBS Television
Network, and Major League Baseball. The 2013 Access Awards will be presented
to the recipients on April 19, 2013, at the AFB Leadership Conference in
*AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and
affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc. Geographic
and service restrictions apply to AT&T U-verse services. Call or go to
www.att.com/u-verse to see if you qualify.
The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) is a national nonprofit that
expands possibilities for people with vision loss. AFB's priorities include
broadening access to technology; elevating the quality of information and
tools for the professionals who serve people with vision loss; and promoting
independent and healthy living for people with vision loss by providing them
and their families with relevant and timely resources. Headquartered in New
York, AFB is proud to house the Helen Keller Archives and honor the more than
40 years that Helen Keller worked tirelessly with AFB.
SOURCE American Foundation for the Blind
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