Make Hulu great again.....for the blind!
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We are currently attempting to make Hulu more accessible to the blind and visually impaired community. Until the massive update in middle 2017, Hulu worked flawlessly with screen readers such as Apple’s VoiceOver, and Google’s Talkback. The 2017 update brought some pretty big changes to the look and navigation of the Hulu platform, but unfortunately came at a cost to those of us with low vision.
The screen readers stopped recognizing options, menus, buttons, and text. This problem occurs when the app developer or website designer neglects to properly label these areas to be registered by the screen readers. The result is an absolute requirement to use eyesight to navigate options, or select and play videos. For whatever reason, the screen readers of smart TVs were not effected, but so few of us with low vision have such TVs in our homes. This left many of us with three options. We could buy a smart TV, ask someone with vision to help us when using the app, or simply cancel our subscriptions. With streaming services rising in popularity to new heights, it is simply unfair to exclude a fraction of the population from being able to enjoy them. This is especially so given how simple a fix it would be for Hulu’s app and website development teams to accomplish.
Many of us have been reaching out to Hulu since the first week of the update more than six months ago. Hulu has promised many times to resolve this issue soon, and to this day has shown no results. In the most recent update in fact, the problem has only gotten worse. Now, even the screen readers of some smart TVs are no longer able to work with the platform, giving most blind and visually impaired people no choice but to abandon the service. We fear that this situation will never be resolved if more people do not speak up on this issue. Many of us have taken to posting comments on their Facebook page, giving them negative reviews on the App Store, and even calling customer service. Hulu simply does not seem to care about what we have to say, putting on a friendly face, but continuing to ignore the issue. We ask that anyone reading this will take the time to sign our petition, and show Hulu that this treatment of the disabled will not be tolerated any further.
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Sonja kern needs your help with “Founders of Hulu: Make Hulu Visually impaired Friendly”. Join Sonja and 51 supporters today.