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How To: Turn on Accessibility Features in Sky

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Almost two million people in the UK live with sight loss. For some, it becomes so that they lose their eyesight entirely, whilst others struggle to identify faces, colours or struggle to read small fonts. It's a broad church, and one which features as many medical terms and classifications as one could imagine. What it means in practical terms though, is that the act of watching TV can become much harder for a person than it needs to be. It is the duty of those who provide us with televisual entertainment to do all they can to help you enjoy it. That's where Sky's Accessibility settings come into play, but how do you activate them, and what do they do? In this 'How To' guide we'll be discovering just that. It's the latest in our series, which found us looking at how to fix picture quality issues with Sky last time.

Sky have a range of features to help those who are suffer from sight loss or hearing loss, all of which are available across the range of Sky boxes, be them Amstrad, Samsung, Digibox or Sky made. Those accessibility features are as follows:

- Subtitles: Turns on subtitles for programmes which have them pre-programmed to run in the background and will automatically generate subtitles for things like live TV news.

- Audio Description: Turn on Audio Descriptions for those with sight problems. Sky have Audio Descriptions for around 20% of their programming, but none on Sky News or Sky Sports, as those are deemed to have a large amount of descriptive spoken word.

- Increase Contrast and Font Size: This will change the size and colour of the font within all the menus, making them easier to read. These can be turned on together or separately.

- Highlight Programmes with Accessibility: This will ensure that when browsing through the guide, you will be able to see which programmes are available with subtitles or audio descriptions

- Beep on Audio Description: You will hear a beep when you change channel to a programme which has Audio Descriptions available

- Beep on Error: You will hear a beep when trying to perform an error function

- Favourite Language: This option let you choose the prefered language for menus within Sky. It won't change the language that the programmes are spoken in.

Accessing these features is as simple as hitting the 'Services' button on your Sky remote and using the down arrow button to highlight and select the 'Accessibility' tab. All the options will then be laid out for you to turn on or off. These features will then be set permanently, and have to be changed by going back into this menu and adjusting them.

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