Since the Ice Bucket Challenge in 2014, the quality of life for people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) has improved in many areas. Cox Communications, in partnership with the Team Gleason Foundation has unveiled a new feature that allows people with physical disabilities to control their TV with their eyes.
This accessible web remote for Contour, which is navigable via various assistive technologies, including eye gaze hardware and software, switch controls, and sip-and-puff systems, helps people who lost fine motor skills to browse the video guide. People who live with ALS, Parkinson’s or other degenerative conditions now have the same access to their TVs as anyone else.
Cox Communications is the largest division of Cox Enterprises, a family-owned business founded in 1898 by Governor James M. Cox. The company is “committed to creating meaningful moments of human connection through technology.” They are also dedicated to empowering others to build a better future and celebrate diverse products, people, suppliers, communities and the characteristics that make each one unique. “Cox is grateful to partner with Team Gleason because we believe in its mission to improve life for people living with conditions such as ALS,” said Pat Esser, president and chief executive officer of Cox Communications. “We are committed to improving our products to ensure all Cox customers can use our products, and will continue to create solutions with accessibility built in.”
According to the CDC, approximately 16% of people over 18 in the United States had some degree of physical functioning difficulty in 2018. Depending on the condition, this might influence whether people can use a traditional TV remote. Throughout the last three years, Cox has partnered with organizations like Team Gleason to ensure accessible design and development of its products, increase awareness and education, and improve processes and procedures focusing on disability inclusion.
The Accessible Web Remote is a free web-based remote for tablets and computers that allows your assistive technology devices such as sip-and-puff, switch controllers, and eye gaze software to use the Contour 2 features. Some examples of these features are as follows.
- Navigate the Contour 2 menu
- Change the channel
- Set a recording
- Search for programming
- Access integrated apps
To access the Accessible Web Remote, go to https://webremote.cox.com.
Note: First-time users must pair the remote to the receiver, refer to Pairing the Accessible Web Remote.
Use the following tips to help in navigating the Accessible Web Remote.
The web-based remote has a type search field that performs voice command search of your Contour 2 service.
The application can be zoomed in or out using the following commands for the device being used.
- For a smartphone or tablet, use two fingers to zoom out or in.
- For a PC, press CTRL and + together to zoom in and CTRL and – together to zoom out.
- For a Mac, press CMD and + together to zoom in and CMD and – together to zoom out.
Bookmark pages on your browser for easy access later.
“Innovative technology like this gives people with disabilities an added level of independence,” said Steve Gleason, founder of Team Gleason and former New Orleans Saints football player who has been living with ALS since 2011. The Team Gleason Foundation’s mission is to improve life for people living with ALS by delivering innovative technology and equipment, as well as providing and empowering an improved life experience. “We appreciate that companies like Cox continue to empower their users by adopting products like the Accessible Web Remote, which allows every customer to do something most people take for granted, like controlling their TV,” he adds.
A core element within the Team Gleason mission is to provide advanced technology for people with ALS, empowering them to continue living purposefully and productively. Team Gleason has partnered with leaders in technology and innovation to help accelerate not only providing advanced devices, but to create new and more empowering ways to live with ALS. As beneficial as the technology we provide or support is, we believe more can be done. To that end, we have collaborated with leading technology companies, organizations, individuals, university bio-engineering departments and others committed to advancing assistive technologies.
People who benefit from these interfaces and devices are people with severe physical challenges like those not only with ALS, but also MS, Parkinsons, SMA, spinal cord injury, and veterans.
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