TWC should consider the blind
On January 6, State Senator Brad Hoylman reached out to Robert D. Marcus,chairman and CEO of Time Warner Cable to ask about implanting services to make more television programs accessible to the blind. This is a copy of that letter.
Dear Mr. Marcus:
I am writing to state my concerns regarding the lack of accessibility features offered to Time Warner Cable customers who are blind or visually impaired.
Federal Communications Commission Chair Tom Wheeler has recognized the necessity to “dramatically simplify the ability of individuals who are blind and visually impaired to view television programming” by making video devices with “talking menus” and “talking guides” available to all consumers by December of this year. While I am pleased that the FCC has committed to ensuring that all cable providers adhere to high standards of accessibility, I am disappointed that enforcement will not go into effect until the end of 2016. Until that time, Time Warner Cable’s inaccessible interface and programs leave many blind or visually impaired consumers without the ability to take advantage of an activity that so many of us take for granted.
I implore you to take action as a responsible corporate citizen to improve the standard of living for your blind and visually impaired customers. Comcast has already set an example with its simple to use and accessible technology, making it possible for its blind and visually impaired customers to enjoy quality television programming with ease and independence. Time Warner Cable must step up as a leader in cable television technology and provide its customers with the accessibility features they need. Moreover, Time Warner Cable must implement basic accessibility standards, including the availability of television guides and documents written in Braille and the option to increase font sizes of on-screen menus for those with limited visibility.
Over 8 million Americans have a visual impairment, including nearly 400,000 New Yorkers. I recently had a conversation with a constituent of mine who is legally blind. He describes himself as a “movie buff” and recounts childhood memories of bonding with his father over favorite television shows. Despite his love for film, he is unable to fully access Time Warner Cable’s expansive movie and television options without great difficulty or assistance.
I urge you to take responsibility for giving consumers with visual impairments access to the same compelling and exciting television programming available to anyone else. Thank you for your attention to this matter.
New York State Senate, 27th District
Ferry wouldn’t be the only noisy thing
Re: “ST/PCV residents mostly in support of 20th St. ferry landing,” T&V, Jan. 21
Last week this newspaper reported that Anne Greenberg, a director of ST-PCV Tenants Association, is opposed to the proposed ferry landing at 20th Street and Stuyvesant Cove. Despite nearly universal support for the project that will bring much needed affordable river transportation to our neighborhood, Greenberg, in an open public forum, denounced the project citing “noise” as the reason.
Ms. Greenberg makes an interesting point: Noise could be a serious issue, given that the ferry landing will be east of that oasis of silence and tranquility known as the FDR Drive. And, certainly, ferries plying the roiling waters of the East River once every half-hour will disturb Ms. Greenberg’s quiet enjoyment of the traffic’s gentle hum.
If Ms. Greenberg wishes to speak for all neighbors and working families, she should do a little research ahead of time regarding the community’s transportation needs – and the pre-existing levels of ambient sound created by a highway.
Name withheld, ST
How does Donald do it?
CNN reported last week that 10 percent of college graduates (that’s grads – not simply people who have just attended college) thought that Judge Judy was a member of the Supreme Court. And this resonated with me vis-à-vis the seeming inexplicable huge numbers who want Mr. Trump to be the next president.
He may know and say little concerning the substance needed for the most important office on the world – but, he surely has the street smarts to understand and appeal to so many ignorant peoplewho comprise a large percent of the electorate.
So, he accepts the support of cognitively challenged celebrity Sarah Palin and knows that her moronic series of free associations would complement that of his.
Ergo, we need significant improvements in our deteriorated education system – badly!
David Chowes, PCV