How Samsung is Shaping Technology Accessibility For All
Samsung is committed to revolutionizing access to technology for all, ensuring our products and services can successfully be used by people with a diverse range of disabilities. We’re tapping the infinite power and potential of our technology to design features and functionalities that provide a greater user experience and enrich people’s lives, regardless of their capabilities.
One in four adults in the United States are living with some form of disability, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). With the goal of empowering people to do more, Samsung works in close collaboration with organizations, such as the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) and Shepherd Center, to develop meaningful, inclusive innovations.
Collaboratively Developing Accessible Tech
AFB mobilizes leaders, advances understanding, and champions impactful policies and practices using research and data to promote accessibility, equality, and opportunity for people who are blind or visually impaired. The national nonprofit has worked in partnership with Samsung for nearly a decade to better serve the needs of individuals within this community through accessibility testing, product demonstrations, and Voluntary Product Accessibility Templates (VPATs).
Samsung continuously collaborates with AFB Consulting, the cross-disability accessibility arm of the AFB, to develop significant accessibility advancements for a quality user experience for people with disabilities. For example, Samsung and AFB Consulting have worked on feature enhancements to the Galaxy S10, Galaxy S20, Galaxy Note 10, and Galaxy Z Fold series of smartphones, as well as the Q7 series of smart televisions. This was accomplished not only through the use of expert accessibility engineers, but also focus groups consisting of users who are blind or visually impaired to provide authentic usability insights. Moreover, Samsung and AFB Consulting strive to advance the knowledge of Samsung’s product capabilities to our customer service teams through accessibility inclusion and communications training, as well as product demonstration videos.
Shepherd Center is a nationally ranked provider of comprehensive, specialized rehabilitation for people with spinal cord injury, brain injury or stroke. Samsung works directly with the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center for Wireless Technologies (Wireless RERC) – a partnership between researchers in Shepherd Center’s Virginia C. Crawford Research Institute and Georgia Tech. Together, Samsung and Wireless RERC are pursuing a transformative future where individuals with disabilities achieve independence, improved quality of life, and enhanced community participation.
With a focus on inclusive design, Samsung leverages early feedback from individuals within the community to proactively incorporate accessibility up front into the product and UX design and development journey. Such insights from Wireless RERC has enabled Samsung developers and engineers to foster a sense of empathy and better understand and address the needs of people with disabilities. Furthermore, agile product reviews are regularly conducted with expert panels and focus groups through Wireless RERC to identify areas in need of improvement before development. Wireless RERC also works with Samsung to effectively develop compliance strategies that address accessibility regulatory requirements.
“Smart design and technology fuels inclusivity,” said Kendra Green, Manager, Regulatory Compliance, Samsung Electronics America. “Our work with these and other remarkable organizations is meant to ensure that Samsung meets the needs of diverse populations and provides increased access to technologies that enable all communities to participate in and thrive in today’s world.”
Providing an Experience That Benefits All, Equally
Samsung has long championed inclusive technological innovation for all. In fact, our products and services are built around a human-centered philosophy that recognizes diversity and embraces our differences. Among Samsung’s latest accessible innovations are:
- Our SeeColors app helps those with sight challenges better view billions of colors. The app is designed to help those with Color Vision Deficiency (CVD) – which affects approximately 300 million people worldwide – adjust the color settings on their Samsung QLED TVs to meet their individual needs. In partnership with scientists at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Samsung has adopted the Colorlite® Test, or C-test, within the SeeColors app to recognize a user’s CVD levels and then automatically optimize their viewing experience.
- Available across Samsung’s 2021 product range of Neo QLED, MICRO LED, and Lifestyle TVs, our Sign Language Zoom and Caption Moving features solve for hearing challenges. Sign Language Zoom automatically recognizes and magnifies the sign language area for the hearing-impaired by up to 200%. Users can specify a sign language area and adjust the magnification by zooming in on the area, as well as move the captions to avoid blocking the subtitle text.
- These latest apps and features join existing accessibility functionality on Samsung devices like our Galaxy S21. The smartphone support a wide range of offerings for visual impairment, hearing impairment, and dexterity and mobility issues.
Going forward, Samsung will continue to make accessibility a forethought within our technology innovation. After all, there are no limits to the barriers that people can defy when technology reflects the diversity of all its users.
To help customers navigate Samsung.com, please visit our Accessibility page and activate the Web Enhancement Tools, which allow site visitors to customize their user experience.