BBC and Accessibility

Hello again, 

I would like to make a note surrounding this blog and it’s contents. Yesterday I was making the BBC aware of Accessibility issues within their iOS BBC News App. Since writing the original post and logging a complaint officially the issue has been resolved. However my blog will still be posted as there are other issues within this post which also need to be addressed. 

Hello again, 

I have recently noticed that the BBC app v5.18.0 is not very accessible. There is no option to be able to increase the font size of the text within the BBC news app. However inside the settings on the app it says to change the font size on your device itself. I have the font size set as high as it will go. Still no luck. 

So I have decided to let them know, via Twitter and through an email to their accessibility team. This is what I have sent: 

‘Hello, 

I am using the BBC News app v5.18.0, the app is no longer able to increase the font size. Even though my iPhone font size is set to its maximum level. On the app it suggests to change the font size within iOS itself, which is what I have done. There is no way, as far as I can see to be able to increase the font size within the BBC app itself. 

I do not wish to use the Zoom feature, as this is not going to work for myself. I have a condition called Nystagmus which means my eyes wobble and with the additional motion on the screen using the magnification feature, my eye wobble will increase and it will begin to feel like I am on a roundabout. 

If you could address this issue and add in a feature to make the font larger, or tell me where this feature is, as I cannot find it? Thank you. 

Kind Regards, 

Philippa Barraclough.’

I thought emailing would be a great way to get directly to the team who needs to see it. I found the email address on this website. I clicked on the option to email the Accessibility team, sent my email and then got on with my day. However, I opened my emails and saw a reply saying ‘Address not Found’. I then decided to Tweet about this, as I was very frustrated. I tried to email the address again, just to make sure. Still same reply. After texting my friend she was also surprised at this. 

What is even more frustrating is that I had found this website- for the Accessibility Team, and assumed they would be the best people to contact. Given this is an Accessibility issue I am bringing up. On further reading of the website I have noticed that it says ‘Please note: the Accessibility Team can only deal with questions or comments concerning the My web my way site and related accessibility issues.’ So does this mean I was emailing the wrong people? I am going to go with yes. But why is the Accessibility Team only dealing with My web my way site? This is again confusing. 

After searching a bit more I found this page for FAQ’s. I then scrolled down and found out how to contact the Accessibility Team. This then lead me back to the original page I was talking about where I found the email which does not exist. Surely if you have an issue with something to do with Accessibility you should contact the Accessibility Team? Please help me out here. 

I am now taking to my blog to share my frustrations with you. How is it that an app can be updated and a simple Accessibility feature is taken away? This is ridiculous. A major organisation such as the BBC should be able to check that their app is accessible. It cannot be that hard to check it and ensure you have the ability to increase a font size. Before anyone suggests I use the Magnification feature built in on iOS, I would like to point out that I have Nystagmus which means my eyes wobble and don’t need the additional motion of the screen moving backwards and forwards as I navigate across the page to read a simple article. Is this too much to ask BBC? 

I then found a page which would allow me to complain in a different way. This page allows you to chose from  different areas of the BBC. I have opted for ‘General BBC’. As this is a general issue, first of all they have failed to make their app accessible. Then they fail to make their complaints system accessible by having a link to an email which does not work. 

It’s made even more ludicrous when you see that BBC has a website dedicated to giving disabled people a voice. Please check out BBC Ouch. 

Over the next few days I will keep an eye on my emails and see if I get a response. This is amusing as I have only one eye that works well enough to go about my day. 

Thank you for reading, 

Twitter: @PhilippaB

Instagram: @VisuallyImpairedPip

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