7th Feb 2019
I am blogging today to share the amazing experience I had when we bought our new TV.
Over the last few years I have been watching less and less TV, as my sight loss progresses further, I find myself unable to follow what is going on whilst trying to watch the TV. Although we have the audio description on, this isn’t available on all programmes yet.
We had our 37inch TV for nearly 10 years, so thought it was time to buy a new one. A bigger screen may help my situation and also what with all the new technology out there now, I felt hopeful that buying a smart TV would be a good solution.
We initially went to a very well known department store, as I had made many purchases there before. We were mindful of my needs and explained them fully to the assistant, we purchased a 55inch Sony Bravia, we were told it had all the requirements that we were looking for.
Below is a list of the specific accessibility requirements needed:
Audio description option
Voice recognition to change channels, interact with apps
Remote to be bold font
Unfortunately the Sony TV we were sold did not have the voice recognition capabilities to change channel, we did not get to see the remote, once home it became apparent that the remote wasn’t that helpful. The apps were not accessible either. It did have the capability to turn the volume up or down, however this was not enough assistance for my needs. With this we returned the TV and was refunded.
We then decided to go to another very well known electronics shop, after finding an assistant and explaining my situation he really wasn’t of much help and was showing us TVs that would not meet my needs. We soon gave up at this particular store!
We then, after beginning to feel rather despondent, went to a smaller store, we knew that this shop was very good as we had bought our stereo from them in the past.
We found an assistant and I told him I was a registered blind person and was looking for an accessible TV. With this he promptly told me “So am I”. I couldnt believe this, what was the likeliness of finding an assistant who fully understood my needs because of his own visual impairment. He was amazing, he told us the makes of TVs that were accessible, he then set up a demo of an LG, he demonstrated and spoke us through how the TV worked and all of its additional accessible features. This was the most helpful, informative and accessible assistant I’ve ever come across. It goes without saying that we bought a 55inch version of this TV from him.
I was so impressed with this assistant, that I went and found the manager of the store and praised him on this wonderful assistant he had working for him.
I believe this experience demonstrates the need for stores to have an accessibility expert working for companies, after all, we live in a very diverse world which includes all individuals, able or disabled, we all have the right to be catered for in the consumer world and all needs should be considered as a consumer.
Just to add to my absolute admiration and gratitude, this wonderful assistant rang me up later that week to see how I was getting on with the TV, NOW THATS WHAT I CALL GOOD SERVICE!
Recommended accessible TVs for the visually impaired:
LG smart TVs with Magic remote capability
Samsung smart TVs