Zenith Box Draws Kudos From Disability Advocates

Advocates for Americans with disabilities are praising the Zenith DTT901 DTV converter box for its user friendly features, particularly for persons with hearing and visual impairments.

The Zenith DTT901 Zenith's heritage in developing closed captioning technology—it was the first TV manufacturer to include the feature in its analog sets more than 15 years ago—was noted by disability advocates who have tested the box.

"One of our biggest concerns during the transition to all-digital TV broadcasting is how manufacturers of converter boxes would accommodate people with disabilities," said Jenifer Simpson, senior director of telecommunications and technology policy for the American Association of People with Disabilities. "We're delighted that Zenith chose to carefully listen to our concerns and implement our recommendations in the DTT901 converter box. The Zenith remote control has a closed caption button that allows immediate access to closed captioning services, and it has video description capability for viewers with vision disabilities. I recommend that our members explore the DTT901 as their option," Simpson said.

Users of the DTT901 can also adjust the size and color of closed captioning, which is another important feature for the disabled, according to Lise Hamlin, director of public policy and state development for the Hearing Loss Association of America.

"The Zenith DTT901 provides advanced digital closed captions, including the capability to choose from multiple fonts, sizes, colors, backgrounds, and more," Hamlin said. "Zenith pioneered closed caption functionality in TVs, and we're pleased to see that Zenith has made captioning easily accessible in their converter box."

In addition to closed captioning, the DTT901 also supports video description for blind and visually impaired persons through ready access to Second Audio Program (SAP) sources. This feature is also accessible via the DTT901 remote control.

Larry Goldberg, director of the National Center for Accessible Media (NCAM) at WGBH in Boston said the center "tested a number of digital-to-analog converters, and the Zenith DTT901 passes the accessibility test with flying colors…NCAM congratulates Zenith on its attention to captioning and video description support and user controls for those functions. It's a great choice for a digital-to-analog converter box."