New video player designed for the blind released

Wednesday, 13 May 2015 10:39am

The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) has released a revolutionary video player which makes it easy for blind and vision impaired people to play online videos, and is making it available to website owners and developers for free.

Woman sitting on a bed, using a laptop

Until now, video players have been problematic for the blind and vision impaired. Interacting with the controls for video functions like ‘play’ and ‘pause’ requires the use of a mouse, but blind users generally use only a keyboard. Buttons on media players are also usually without text, so a screen reader is not able to read out their functions.

AFB’s HTML5-embedded Accessible Player rectifies this. All controls are labelled with text, so they will work with assistive technologies such as screen readers and braille displays, and they can all be operated with keyboard commands. Users will be able to change font sizes and utilise high-contrast colour schemes, and the player can be expanded to full-screen size.   

"People with vision loss need equal access to online videos for school, work and entertainment,” said AFB’s director of Web Services. "This HTML5 player is unlike anything else currently available, and we feel this is a big leap forward for blind and visually impaired users."

For more information, see AFB’s media release about the Accessible Player.

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