Hulu adds accessibility features to its platform

The updates are arriving after Hulu said it made accessibility design the primary focus of its summer hackathon. (Hulu)

Hulu today rolled out two new features designs to make its platform easier to use for people with visual impairments.

The first new feature focuses on text legibility. Hulu said it now has easier-to-read text because it enhanced the text opacity. This update will be applied automatically for all Hulu users.

Secondly, the company added screen reader (or audio guide) capabilities. The screen reader helps viewers with visual impairments by vocally guiding them through the Hulu platform. It can be turned on via a device’s setting.

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These updates are available on the Roku platform starting today and will roll out to Android, tvOS, iOS and other connected devices in the coming weeks.

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The updates are arriving after Hulu said it made accessibility design the primary focus of its summer hackathon. Earlier this year, the company also rolled out an audio description hub for its online platform.

Building in accessibility features on video platforms is a trend the reaches beyond streaming services. Cable operator Comcast this summer announced eye controls via a web-based remote for tablets and computers that pairs with an existing eye gaze system, and lets users change channels, set recordings and search for programming.

In 2015, Comcast also included video description with its live production of “The Wiz.” In 2014, the company launched a talking channel guide that reads aloud channel names, show titles and DVR commands.

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