We’re committed to making our products and services accessible to everyone, no matter their abilities. The 2018 Paralympic Winter Games were a great example of our mission to make entertainment more inclusive. And we recently highlighted some of the ways our technology and programming is being developed to support people of all abilities during Autism Awareness Month.
We’re involved in the community too. For Comcast Cares Day last month, our Freedom Region employees volunteered with Variety Club to make their grounds more universally accessible; joined forces with Jefferson University and Easterseals of Southeast PA to adapt toys and vehicles for children with disabilities; and Thorncroft Equestrian Center, which uses therapeutic horseback riding to help those with mental, emotional and physical disabilities; to name a few examples.
This commitment continues with the recent launch of a feature that gives people with physical disabilities like spinal cord injuries or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) the ability to navigate their television using only their eyes. Xfinity X1 eye control is a free web-based remote for tablets and computers that pairs with an existing eye gaze system. It allows viewers to have control over their Xfinity X1 television entertainment and features, all with a glance.
In the U.S., more than 48 million people live with physical or mobility disabilities and every day about 15 people are newly diagnosed with ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, a disease that attacks nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. These disabilities can often make seemingly everyday tasks more difficult. With X1 eye control, customers can easily change the channel, search for content, set a recording, bring up X1 apps, access additional accessibility features like closed captioning and voice guidance and more.
The announcement featured Philadelphia resident Jimmy Curran, who has Spinal Muscular Atrophy, a condition that affects the part of the nervous system that controls muscle movement. He was among the first customers to get the new X1 eye control technology. You can watch his story, here.
For more on this announcement, click here.