RTVS video portal for the deaf and the blind

At the beginning of the year 2017, our client RTVS invited us to participate in a very interesting and beneficial project called RTVS Dokorán ("RTVS Wide Open").
Together with the Association of the Deaf, they worked on the barrier-free website dokoran.rtvs.sk with a video content archive, which is specially adapted for the needs of the deaf and the blind. On the site, users can find movies, series, documents, radio plays and fairy tales from RTVS production. Although it initially seemed necessary to create two independent sites, for the deaf and for the blind, we managed to develop a solution that enabled us to combine both projects into a single comprehensive yet flexible solution. This is not really a common assignment that we would deal with every day, so we started with thorough research of the standards as well as the habitual practice in the resolutions of similar projects.

We found that the development of a website for the visually handicapped often narrows to the application of a common web template with less use of graphic elements. In the best case, areas of the site can be enlarged. However, when you cannot see absolutely perfectly, the key for the proper and logical orientation on a webpage is its clarity. This is why a major role in this project was played by our graphic designer Peter. Instead of enlarging the text, he chose to make the most of simple graphics and the proper use of typography to achieve the greatest possible clarity. He drew inspiration, for example, from the intuitive control of the X-box menu, which is also understandable to small children. You can use the keyboard to navigate forward and backward through the pages. The place where you are located is marked with a distinct rectangle. For blind users, the navigation is facilitated by voice navigation.

The Dokorán web meets the strictest AAA standard representing the contrast of text and background. To achieve this, RTVS renounced the usual colouring of graphic elements. The web is thus black and white, which is a convenient solution even for colour-blind users. The black background is not just a matter of elegant design, but it is also a useful option when watching video at night. Videos on the site are found in two variants – for the deaf they are presented with subtitles that are hard-coded directly in the video track. The blind have an accompanying audio track that describes the action on the video. We launched the website in mid-July and as of today it already has hundreds of registered users. The portal must request registration due to the copyright to the individual works. This is carried out either through the Association of the Deaf or through the Library for the Blind in Levoča. I’m delighted with the resultant quality of our joint work with our client’s team and I believe it will help make life more enjoyable.  
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