[access-uk] Re: FW: A letter I wrote to sky.

Martin, Kay was an actual Sky disabilities representative on the Sky User 
list who played an active part on the Sky users e-mail list set up by 
another blind or partially sighted Sky user.

Darran

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "martin wilsher" <m.wilsher@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Sunday, November 16, 2008 5:40 PM
Subject: [access-uk] Re: FW: A letter I wrote to sky.


| HI Jackie:
|
| I do not understand your reference to k alan, but guess this person was
| someone to do with sky.  And while I agree with you here in part re the 
digi
| box, if blind people do not face the challenges of inaccessible services 
and
| flag up the inaccessibility, they will be left behind in the digital
| revolution.  I believe using sky plus to the best of our abilities and
| flagging inaccessible parts of this service will force sky to do something
| about it in the end. Though I completely understand your standpoint
| ttoo.-----Original Message-----
| From: access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf 
Of
| Jackie Cairns
| Sent: 16 November 2008 17:18
| To: access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
| Subject: [access-uk] Re: FW: A letter I wrote to sky.
|
| Hi Martin
|
| Firstly, it's why I won't buy a Sky Plus box to replace my eight-year-old
| original Digibox, because I can't access the facilities the Plus offers.
|
| Secondly, bring back Kay Allen.  She was excellent, even if she couldn't
| implement everything we'd like to see happen.
|
| Jackie Cairns
| Braille Support Adviser
| Email: jackie.cairns@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Sight and Sound Technology Welton
| House North Wing Summerhouse Road Moulton Park Northampton
| NN3 6WD
| Tel: 01604 798024
| Web: www.sightandsound.co.uk
| -----Original Message-----
| From: access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf 
Of
| martin wilsher
| Sent: 16 November 2008 16:04
| To: access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
| Subject: [access-uk] FW: A letter I wrote to sky.
|
|
|
| -----Original Message-----
| From: martin wilsher [mailto:m.wilsher@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx]
| Sent: 16 November 2008 12:45
| To: 'access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx'
| Subject: A letter I wrote to sky.
|
| HI all.  Having just got sky plus installed, I have had no end of issues
| with the remote record service, so this, along with other issues I found,
| prompted me to write the following letter to sky which I enclose for your
| discussion.
|
| "Dear Sir/Madam:
|
| My Name is Martin Wilsher.  Having recently upgraded to sky plus in an
| attempt to enhance my sky experience, I am generally impressed with the
| operation of the sky plus system.  Though, as one of your disabled
| customers, I am totally blind, meaning I cannot see the sky EPG to operate
| the system properly, I need to find alternative methods of programming the
| box to my liking.  Now, to this end I use accessible sky TV listings, and
| would use remote record, but this is broken, so I cannot use the service,
| even though I am subscribed to use it.  the only way I can control the box
| is to send texts at twenty five pence per time from my mobile phone, this 
is
| excluding network charges, so in the two days I've been using this system 
I
| have unbilled usage of £10 excluding VAT on my mobile bill due to
| controlling the sky box.  I have spoken to accessible customer services
| regarding this matter, and that of the remote record, so I will not 
continue
| the discussion of my current problems here.  My main concern is the lack 
of
| accessibility for totally blind people when using sky plus.  There are no
| indications when moving up and down the menus for example, so pressing up,
| down, select, or left or right arrows does not cause a beep or any audible
| tone for the blind user.  This means blind users cannot adequately use the
| menus.  I feel that key clicks to tell a user when they have pressed an
| arrow key, or the select key would be a small enhancement to the sky plus
| menu system which, in the interim between today, and the day when we 
finally
| get a talking EPG, which I believe is in the pipeline, would be of great
| help to blind customers, as would accessibility services set to on by
| default.  At present, a blind customer has to get assistance with setting 
up
| audio description and the beep to tell when AD is available on a channel. 
I
| believe this is a sorry state of affairs.  Accessibility should be a right
| straight out of the box, not a privilege, as it is at the moment.  If a
| blind user cannot get sighted assistance, and is not competent with use of
| the remote control while someone on the end of a phone line talks them
| through key presses where little feedback from the box,  Is given, the 
blind
| user is stuck with a box they cannot use, as there is no talking EPG at 
the
| present time.  While sky provides AD for its blind customers, I believe 
with
| the revenue streams sky gets from loyal customers, that access for blind
| users should be, and could be much improved.  At the moment I am finding 
my
| use of sky plus a very expensive experience, but I hope this, with the
| rectifying of the remote record problem, should come down to the normal
| costs experienced by sighted users of the sky plus system.  I must say 
that
| I am very technically minded, and will work through technical issues, but
| with an aging population, and possible growing numbers of people with
| moderate to total sight loss, coupled with the imminent switch to digital
| television for all, sky need to urgently address all access issues to a
| greater degree than they already are.  I like my sky plus box, but am not
| totally uncritical as my letter to you shows.  I am young, technically
| minded, and have a fair knowledge of computers and of the menu systems sky
| employ, if explained to me.  Some older people might not have this
| advantage.  So this letter is a plea for accessibility for elder folk as
| well as me as a blind sky user.  I feel key clicks could be implemented
| quickly and should be accelerated to the top of your to do list.  I
| understand the talking EPG is in development, but Key clicks could be
| implemented quickly and put into a software upgrade to the current sky 
plus
| boxes.  I currently use the box by remembering the key presses I make on
| various keys, but am not totally sure if the box has accepted all presses,
| so it's still pot luck.  I believe the implementation of key clicks is as
| important as the highlighter bar on the menus.  If sighted users of sky 
plus
| suddenly found the highlighter gone from their menus, they would not be 
able
| to find their way around the sky planner and other services.  This is how 
it
| is for blind users.  Yes we have the sky music which plays when in menus,
| but that is all.  There are no other cues as to where we are in the menus.
| I believe, in the days of the disability discrimination act, and the so
| called right of disabled people to be treated equally when accessing
| services, blind people deserve a better deal from sky, as sky continue to
| innervate.  Please, please do not leave blind people out of the digital
| revolution.  I believe blind people are given very little consideration 
when
| new services are implemented, and feel this is morally as well as legally
| wrong.  I also wish to express my disappointment in the sign up process 
for
| my sky.  This implements a visual graphical test for registrants which
| entail the completion of a form by entering text into the box.  This is 
not
| accessible to screen reading software.  An alternative audio system should
| be provided for blind and visually impaired customers so they can sign up
| independently.  Registration for remote record via sky plus box is not
| accessible either, which I feel could be improved by the use of the 
website
| to tell the box what to do.  Access to sky services needs to be 
drastically
| improved for blind users.  Thank you for reading."
|
| Hope this provokes discussion.
|
| Hope to hear from you soon.
|
| From Martin.
|
| Please email me at:
|
| m.wilsher@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
|
| Thanks
|
|
| Please visit my website:
|
| www.martin-wilsher.com
|
|
|
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