During the past years digital TV as a media consumption platform has more and more turned from a simple receiver and presenter of broadcast signals to an interactive and personalized media terminal, with access to traditional broadcast as well as internet-based services. Currently available TV panels offer integrated digital processing platforms, with access to standardized hybrid Web & TV (or Hybrid TV) portals (e.g. HbbTV). These portals do not only offer access to the internet and legacy web services (like web browser or proprietary portal views on YouTube, Flickr, Facebook, etc.), but also specify content services that are immediately coupled to broadcast content that is rendered on the terminal device.
At the same time it is recognized that some user groups like disabled or elderly people still face problems when using the above mentioned services. Approximately half of the elderly people over 55 suffer from some kind of functional limitations or impairments (vision, hearing, motor and/or cognitive). For them interaction, especially with PCs or other consumer electronics devices is sometimes challenging, although accessible ICT applications could make much of a difference for their living quality. They have the potential to enable or simplify participation and inclusion in their surrounding private and professional communities.
However, the availability of accessible user interfaces being capable to adapt to the specific needs and requirements of users with individual impairments is very limited. Although there are numerous APIs available for various operating systems or application platforms in web browsers that allow developers to provide accessibility features within their applications, today none of them offers features for automatic adaptation of multimodal interfaces, being capable to automatically fit to the individual requirements of users with different kinds of impairments. Moreover, the provision of accessible user interfaces is still expensive and risky for application developers, as they need special experience and effort for user tests. Many implementations simply neglect the needs of elderly people locking out a large portion of their potential users.