NGO ‘Rising Flame’ that empowers people with visual impairments had started a campaign to make Disney-Hotstar accessible for visually impaired users with IPL 2020 approaching because reportedly, IPL is going to be broadcasted on Disney-Hotstar. India’s visually impaired cricketers also hope that concerned officials hear their plea so that they can thoroughly enjoy the upcoming season of IPL.
The Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 is all set to begin this weekend, starting on 19 September. This time, the venue is at UAE, but Indian cricket fans are gearing up for weeks of fun and entertainment, a much needed one during the pandemic and related crisis. ‘Rising Flame’, an NGO that works towards empowering visually impaired people recently launched a campaign demanding that the Disney-Hotstar channel, where the IPL can be seen, be made accessible.
Campaign demands accessibility
The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 (RPWD) clearly states that all technological platforms must be made accessible for people with all kinds of disabilities. But that has not been implemented yet. Reportedly, Disney-Hotstar is inaccessible in both Android and iOS platforms with a screen reader, the software most commonly used by visually impaired people. Rising Flame had urged more people with and without disabilities to sign the campaign.
“While the cricket fans in the country gear up for the upcoming IPL, blind and visually impaired cricket lovers are worried and frustrated! Because Hotstar, which will be broadcasting IPL is inaccessible currently on Android and iOS platforms with a screen reader (the software used on these platforms by blind and visually impaired individuals). This means that if you are a blind or visually impaired person, you simply cannot use Hotstar on your smart phone. Join Rising Flame as we request Hotstar to make their platforms accessible”, they posted on their social media pages.
What India’s visually impaired community, comprising of more than 62 million people feels is that Disney-Hotstar must not delay the procedure towards promoting inclusion in their app.
India’s blind cricketers raise the demand
Ajay Kumar Reddy, Captain, India blind cricket team feels that it is high-time for all apps to be made accessible for visually impaired users. “Since I have partial vision, using apps are not too hard for me. I hardly use talk back. But Disney-Hotstar has been installed on my phone which I use to watch movies while travelling and so on. But undoubtedly, the app needs to be more accessible for our visually impaired community, especially with the IPL coming closer”, he says.
Shekhar Naik, former blind cricket captain says, “This is a great initiative from ‘Rising Flame’. I think it is not just about Disney-Hotstar, but all mobile apps must be accessible for visually impaired”.
Abdul Munaz K, Captain of Kerala’s blind cricket team says that India is a country where cricket is in everyone’s blood, be it a disabled or non-disabled person. Since Disney-Hotstar is going to broadcast the IPL, they cannot deny rights to visually impaired community.
“In the current times, we are all stressed and anxious. So watching cricket is going to give us relief. Over past few months, everything has been shifted to online platforms. That is when visually impaired people really started to realise how inaccessible technology is. But now, we are getting used to it”, says Munaz.
Disney-Hotstar has not yet responded or accepted the demands to make the app accessible. With hardly few more days to go for the IPL, India’s visually impaired cricket fans are hoping for some good news!
This article was published in Newzhook.