The EPG Code applies to Sky, Virgin, YouView, Freesat, Digital UK for Freeview, BT, EE and TalkTalk.
The regulator wants the following features to be incorporated into EPGs as standard.
- Text to speech. Channel information, and the text necessary for navigation, are available as speech;
- Filtering and highlighting. Programmes with audio description, and those with signing, are highlighted or listed separately;
- Magnification. Viewers can magnify or enlarge EPG information; and
High-contrast display. Viewers can switch between default and high-contrast displays
The proposed changes will apply to EPGs made available on all new models of TV receivers for which development begins after July 27, 2018.
Ofcom has worked with broadcasters and the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) on other ways to increase the accessibility of television to people with sight impairment.
It is also supporting the RNIB and broadcasters in an industry campaign to increase public awareness of audio description/ Broadcasters including the BBC, BT, Channel 4, ITV, Sky, UKTV and Viacom will be airing adverts to promote their audio description services throughout the summer and early autumn.
It was estimated in 2015 that 2 million people had partial sight or blindness, with one in five people aged 75 and older living with sight loss.