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Comcast's Java-based resource library expands accessibility features for Xfinity

The cable and entertainment company is leaning on Java to empower a major accessibility push across its streaming and home entertainment lines.
Written by Michael Gariffo, Staff Writer

Comcast detailed new plans to increase accessibility across its Xfinity X1 and Flex products by employing a JavaScript framework called LightningJS.

According to the cable provider, it will "integrate accessibility as a core component throughout the tech stack" as it continues the development of products like its Xfinity X1 home entertainment interface and Xfinity Flex streaming box. This new transition is being powered by the integration of the aforementioned open-source JavaScript framework LightningJS. The company plans to employ it as the underlying framework for accessibility components across its entertainment products. 

Benefits of integrating this new technology at the base level have already included additional capabilities such as an easily implementable typeface and font size changes and support high-contrast color schemes for those with visual impairments; reduced motion modes for viewers with motion sensitivities; and expanded support for a focus state for users with limited mobility access Comcast's services via a screen reader or other accessibility technology. 

Comcast said it is continuing to build out a shared component library of Lightning UI assets that it can deploy across its Xfinity products and via Sky and NBC Universal. Additional functions currently being worked on include the ability to announce on-screen text such as movie and category titles and a text magnifier that can display selected fields in larger, high-contrast fonts. 

Comcast also plans to begin open sourcing its developments to help partners integrate accessibility features directly into apps and assets that they plan to deploy across its platforms. 

Tom Wlodkowski, Vice President of Accessibility at Comcast Cable, said, "Collaboration has always been central to our technology innovation and development, especially when it comes to inclusive product design. This is yet another example of how our teams are working together and with the larger development community to create better experiences for everyone."

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