Those who are or know of anyone who is seeing or hearing impaired, might be interested to learn that Samsung’s smart TVs recently received the “Tried and Tested Accreditation” of the U.K.’s Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB).

Samsung posted the news on its global web site Wednesday, adding it is the first time the accreditation has been given in the TV industry.

The South Korean electronics firm has been working in collaboration with RNIB since 2013 to increase accessibility of various TV features and performance for the visually impaired.

The citation follows Samsung’s work in 2016 that led to inclusion in smart TVs of a feature that provides an audible explanation of the action taking place on screen in TV programs as well as audible TV control settings, for those with no or limited vision. Samsung also added a “High Contrast” mode that displays graphic information with opaque black backgrounds and white font for enhanced visibility.

Those achievements earned the company RNIB’s “Inclusive Society Award” at the time.

Samsung Electronics said it continues to improve and expand the accessibility features on its TVs to better achieve “digital inclusivity” for deaf and hearing impaired people as well as blind and partially sighted people.

Among more recent features is an upgraded Voice Guide that lets users listen to key information on programs as well as audible instructions for the remote control and the various other accessibility features. Users also can adjust the pitch and speed of the Voice Guide to suit their preferences.

Further, the company has introduced a new Digital Magnifier feature for use with select mobile devices that enhances and expands text and images on large screens while mirroring the Samsung Galaxy smartphone to the Samsung smart TV screen.

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In addition, a Focus Enlarge feature magnifies specific fonts related to TV control, volume and menus.

Other accessibility contributions for the hearing impaired include automatic recognition and enlargement of sign language areas in the frame of programs as well as the ability to control, adjust and move subtitle positions around the screen.

Samsung said it will continue to improve accessibility to television content and features for the sight and hearing impaired on its TVs so that more and more people can enjoy the benefits of the medium.

“With a growing variety of content and features, people are now having more fun with their smart TVs,” stated Kangwook Chun, Executive Vice President of Visual Display Business at Samsung Electronics. “Samsung is fully committed to providing comprehensive accessibility features on its TVs so that every user can enjoy their favorite content much more easily.”

In a statement on the accreditation, David Clarke, Director of Services at RNIB, said, “RNIB is delighted to award our Tried and Tested certification to Samsung in recognition of the accessibility features within their TV. RNIB and Samsung have worked together since 2013, and each year the accessibility features on their televisions have been improved and expanded.”

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By Greg Tarr

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