RE: 48-Hour Call for Consensus (CfC): TV Remote Control API Comments (Reissued)

+1. This is appropriate, as you and Gottfried can attest to, the ability for a TV remote to enhance not only media access, but other periphery applications and devices is not only great - but can be a paramount providing access to many users.

​​​​​* katie *
Katie Haritos-Shea 
Principal ICT Accessibility Architect (WCAG/Section 508/ADA/AODA)
Cell: 703-371-5545 | | Oakton, VA | LinkedIn Profile | Office: 703-371-5545 | @ryladog

NOTE: The content of this email should be construed to always be an expression of my own personal independent opinion, unless I identify that I am speaking on behalf of Knowbility, as their AC Rep at the W3C - and - that my personal email never expresses the opinion of my employer, Deque Systems.

-----Original Message-----
From: Janina Sajka [] 
Sent: Tuesday, March 14, 2017 1:36 PM
To: Accessible Platform Architectures Administration <>
Subject: 48-Hour Call for Consensus (CfC): TV Remote Control API Comments (Reissued)


This is a Call for Consensus (CfC) to the Accessible Platform Architectures (APA) Working Group on our review of the TV Remote Control API specification as detailed below.

I have endeavored to incorporate such API related comments as we've recieved on an earlier draft comment beginning at:

In addition this review reflects our discussion on this topic and this specification at our 8 March regular teleconference minuted at:

<Begin Revised Draft Comment>

The Accessible Platform Architectures (APA) Working Group makes the following comments on the draft TV Control API specification at:

We appreciate that an API for TV remote control could be utilized for enabling accessible alternative Web applications to provide radio and TV services to users with disabilities who may find it difficult or impossible to operate any user interface supplied with a particular browser or hardware device. This is an inherent accessibility strength for any API that provides for sufficient feature support. Regretably, we believe the current TV Remote Control API as currently defined lacks required accessibility feature support.

* alternative media support

We would draw your attention to the multiple alternative media formats that are used by persons with disabilities as set forth in our W3C Note
publication: "Media Accessibility User Requirements (MAUR)" available

Please note that this document was developed in order to inform the development of the HTML 5.0 specification itself. As a result of this note, HTML provides sufficient feature support to support accessibility in HTML's video and audio elements.

Our reading of the Tv Control API draft finds no way for users to learn of the presence of any MAUR identified alternative media with any particular TV content, nor any means to request display of alternative content. This is a fundamental accessibility requirement on TV Controls and we believe it must be factored into this specification.

* Alternative Media on Second Screen Devices

APA's predecessor Working Group, Protocols and Formats WG also provided use cases and requirements to the Second Screen Working Group on how alternative media might be directed to second screen devices. We believe support for directing alternative video, audio, and/or text to secondary devices, as described in the MAUR,  is also a fundamental accessibility requirement on TV Controls and should be supported in this API.

* Legal Requirements

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the U.S. has explicit legally mandated regulations setting forth some strict requirements on how certain alternative media are to be exposed to consumers. These regulations also require accessible program guides.

We believe that developers should be flagged most especially on the requirement that captioning must be enableable by top level controls. These FCC requirements implement provisions of a U.S. law known as the "Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act" as explained by the FCC at:

The FCC's regulations pertinent to this specification were published in December 2016 in the document: "Accessibility Requirements for Television and Set-Top Box Controls, Menus, and Program Guides"
available at:


Also relevant is the document "Display of Captioning on Equipment Used to View Video Programming" available at:

Additionally, we would request that your API reference the MAUR in your appendices in order to assist developers in meeting both their moral and legal requirements in support of accessibility.

<End Draft Comment>


This CfC is now open for objection, comment, as well as statements of support via email. Silence will be interpreted as support, though messages of support are certainly welcome.

If you object to this proposed action, or have comments concerning this proposal, please respond by replying on list to this message no later than 23:59 (Midnight) Boston Time, Tuesday 21 March.



Janina Sajka, Phone: +1.443.300.2200

Linux Foundation Fellow
Executive Chair, Accessibility Workgroup:

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI)
Chair, Accessible Platform Architectures

Received on Wednesday, 15 March 2017 15:54:59 UTC