Issues With Sky Plus
Sadly, the On Demand section is not accessible. I've contacted Sky on several occasions only to be given the usual spiel. I got round it by finding the category or item I want using VoiceOver, placing my thumb on the outside left edge of my I phone exactly where the item I want is. Then I use triple click to disable VoiceOver, tap the screen next to my thumb, and enable VoiceOver again. If u selected horror for example, at each on-screen location 3 movies r listed. If u swipe right, VoiceOver will say button 3 times. The order of the buttons corresponds to the order in which VoiceOver lists the movies. For example; your 3movies r read out as follows: "JAWS" "SAW" "End Of Days". Your first button after swiping right would be JAWS, swipe right twice for SAW, or 3 times as the 3rd button would be End Of Days. Double tap the appropriate button and swipe left and right on the page that follows till VoiceOver says, "download to SkyPlus HD box?" Click that, and you're good to go. There really is no simpler way to explain what to do; sorry.
Hi. To see an update on Sky's response to my action against them re sky accessibility please see the forum "Has anybody in the UK tried the new Sky Q app?"
Hi all. Apologies for the slow updates but this is a lengthy process which is not yet over. I'm going to copy a letter I've received from Sky's legal team but needless to say, I have a lot of questions. Please do not all start calling Sky customer services to ask for a refund of sky multiroom charges as I'm trying to clarify if and how sky intend to make blind customers aware of this etc. Please be aware in my grievance I haven't just focused on Sky Q as I too have been there for all of the other issues relating to other Sky services including Sky+. See letter below and more to follow soon. This is now being escalated to CISAS who have 20 day to consider my grievance and their decision and any recommendations that come from it are legally binding and Sky have said they will abide by them. I do not have to accept the decision of CISAS and can progress this to court if I feel it's. Disappointingly only one person off here offered any kind of input or help but I'm guessing those affected will be wanting their refunds.
Dear Mr. Holdstock
Reply to formal complaint of alleged indirect discrimination and failure to make a reasonable adjustment
We refer to letter of 27th May 2018 and further to your recent discussions with our Customer Priority Department. While we have taken full note and careful consideration of your comments, we do not intend in this letter to reply directly to all of your allegations against Sky, and its alleged failure to comply with its legal obligations to you. We understand that your core concern is to be involved with Sky’s continued development of features and services (in particular relating to Sky Q) to improve the quality of service Sky offers to its blind and partially sighted customers.
While we deny any discrimination in the Sky Q services we make available to blind people or any breaches of relevant Ofcom requirements, we acknowledge that there are opportunities to make certain aspects of our services even better and we are committed to doing so. In particular, we are making certain functionality of the Sky Q Multiscreen subscription available without additional charge for our blind customers, so that they may properly navigate a list of their Sky+ recordings via the Sky Q app. In addition, we will be providing greater awareness to our customers of the Voice Search and Voice Control button on the Sky Q remote control. By pressing down this button (which is on the top right of the remote control) customers can ask to be taken to specific programmes and/or Sky+ recordings they have made. While this is not a complete solution to the text to speak issue you identify, it does provide a mechanism to play content on the main screen, while we develop a comprehensive and fully integrated approach to meeting this challenge.
In addition to the measures set out above, we would like to invite you (at our expense) to visit our offices to give you the opportunity to meet the product teams to discuss your experience with them and share your insight on high quality, customer-focused, high tech solutions for our visually impaired customers.
We would also like to offer you a full refund of amounts paid by you to date for your Sky Q Multiscreen subscription.
Paralegal, TMT & Litigation
Just my reply to Sky's last letter. Happy to hear your thoughts.
Dear Mr Rasul
Thank you for your letter dated 12 July which despite my prior request for it to be sent by email as I am blind and therefore unable to read a printed letter, I actually only received an email copy on 17 July and when speaking to your colleagues on the Priority Customer team only yesterday, a number of them confirmed that they had spoken to your team and as of yesterday the letter hadn’t been sent. I clarify this only for the purposes of keeping a full timeline of events).
I will do my best to cover points made in your letter in order;
• “we do not intend in this letter to reply directly to all of your allegations against Sky,” – will I receive a further reply re my other issues or is there good reason why you are not able to address these?
• “We understand that your core concern is to be involved with Sky’s continued development of features and services (in particular relating to Sky Q) to improve the quality of service Sky offers to its blind and partially sighted customers.“ – This was not my core concern at all and my enthusiasm to be able to assist with addressing accessibility issues on the Sky platform was purely to support Sky as a typical blind user of the system and for me not to seem like someone criticising without showing a willingness to aid the changes needed.
• “In particular, we are making certain functionality of the Sky Q Multiscreen subscription available without additional charge for our blind customers, so that they may properly navigate a list of their Sky+ recordings via the Sky Q app.” – Genius idea, who came up with that? That would be my idea and for six months I asked for this and despite asking for it as a reasonable adjustment staff on both the Accessibility team and the Priority Customer team insisted that it would not be possible. Even when I attempted to make a complaint, an Accessibility team manager (Careon) replied on 8 May by email making it quite clear “this is Sky’s position on the matter” and giving me the impression that this position would not change. – This is the failure to make a reasonable adjustment. I acknowledge that it may not have been obvious for Sky to anticipate that such an adjustment would help, but once I requested this as an adjustment Sky cannot claim that it wasn’t reasonable for them to know this.
• “In addition, we will be providing greater awareness to our customers of the Voice Search and Voice Control button on the Sky Q remote control.” – I mentioned the issue of Voice Recognition and the problem of silent messages appearing on the screen which then stop Voice Recognition and other remote functions from working. I suggested a simple bleep to let the user know some kind of interaction is needed would be helpful. No mention of this and this could make Voice Recognition an unsuitable option for those completely blind and less technically minded.
• In regard to your invitation to come to your offices, meet the product teams etc, I would very much like to accept that offer and I look forward to hearing from someone to arrange this.
• In regard to a refund of my Sky Q Multiroom subscription, while I am grateful for this, I am disappointed that no offer of reasonable compensation for the significant stress, use of my time (literally tens of hours), the impact of offensive statements made by Sky employees directly relating to my request for a reasonable adjustment due to my disability such as “well you chose to have Sky and other services are available” and “Why would we give you Sky Multiroom for free when we wouldn’t do it for anyone else”. The latter statement came from a manager on the Accessibility team which I feel makes it even worse. Indeed, to make matters worse there was no reference to these allegations in your reply. Did anyone actually listen to the phone calls as I suggested? Do they still exist or has the length of time passed meant that they have been deleted?
Also, how does Sky intend to make blind customers aware of this offer and will the offer be backdated as you have for me?
I appreciate there are several points you may want to come back to clarify and so I’m open to still communicating and attempting to resolve this matter. However, in the meantime I will be escalating my case to CISAS as I feel they will be better placed to get to the bottom of some of my concerns and make an appropriate and independent judgement.
Given the lengthy nature of this process so far, I would kindly request a reply by email within seven days from my sending this email.