Forbes contributor David Coursey recently discussed the so-called ‘death of TV’ caused, he suggested, by a never-ending advance of technology. Why bother with the old-fangled television when we can all watch hours of free and endless content on our iPods, mobile telephones, game consoles, and Internet-connected PCs?
Well, yes, that’s all well and good if you have the disposable funds to buy one (let alone all) of these new wonderful devices, and have an understanding of how to set them up and actually use them.
But rather than thinking of the turned-on, tuned-in “tween” sitting in a local Starbucks surfing the web, consider the older person sat at home, on their own, with just their old faithful Pye 26” colour set for company.
Many of these retired older people rely on their televisions and radios for their news and information, and with many unable to go out any time of the day, let alone at night, they often form the only companionship that they have.
Radio shows like those presented by Keith Skues for the BBC are full of letters from listeners saying how much they feel that the show is personally “for them”, and have come to rely on Skues’ broadcasts to help them feel and remain “in touch” with the world, whilst having a sympathetic ear for their generation. Normal TVs and radios remains important.
WaveLength is a charity that has supported vulnerable people in Britain since 1939 by providing them with free televisions and radios. We give a choice of radio and television sets to meet the individual’s needs, such as radios for people with dementia, televisions with audio description for the blind or supporting subtitles for people with hearing impairments.
Small tablets and complicated mobile devices are not suitable for most of those that we help. Whilst there is a sometimes a desire for this technology, there will always be a need for plain old “simple to understand” televisions and radios. Internet should not be allowed to ‘kill’ television.
WaveLength is a member of the OFCOM’s Consumer Panel, the Ministerial Advisory Group, the Consumer Expert Group and the E-accessibility Forum and advocates for accessibility and inclusion in the process of the huge forthcoming TV digital switchover in the UK.
Tim Leech, WaveLength’s CEO recently said: “We will continue to work to ensure that no vulnerable person is left behind by these technological changes”.
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