Landmark Program To Give Fans With Visual Impairments Enhanced Access To MLB.com Continues Expansion
NEW YORK, June 5, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Fans with visual impairments will gain expanded accessibility to baseball through the continuation of a joint collaboration between MLB Advanced Media, L.P. (MLBAM), the interactive media and Internet company of Major League Baseball, the American Council of the Blind, Bay State Council of the Blind and California Council of the Blind. MLBAM has maintained its leadership position among sports and entertainment companies through its continued implementation of technologies to ensure fans with visual impairments have access to online content, features and mobile applications.
Today’s announcement furthers an initiative begun by MLBAM in February 2010, when it began the landmark program to implement functional improvements for access by the visually impaired to MLB.com, the official Web site of Major League Baseball, and all 30 individual Club sites. In July 2011, MLBAM was awarded the American Council of the Blind’s prestigious Vernon Henley Media Award for its efforts and most recently was named a recipient of the American Foundation for the Blind’s 2012 Access Award.
A key component of the 2012 MLB season will be enhanced capabilities for visually impaired fans within MLB.com At Bat(TM), its award-winning mobile application for iPhone and iPad. Like sighted fans, blind fans also are increasingly turning to mobile devices to access their baseball content. MLBAM’s commitment to continued accessibility enhancements for fans with visual impairments has been praised by leaders of organizations representing those constituents.
“The accessibility of applications for mobile devices is a critical step in ensuring that blind consumers are able to keep pace and are afforded easy access to changing technologies,” noted ACB officer and Seattle Mariners fan Marlaina Lieberg. “MLBAM’s efforts break new ground as being the first by a major U.S. sports and entertainment content provider involving improved accessibility for the visually impaired to mobile applications. We applaud MLBAM and urge others in these industries to follow its lead.”
MLB.com will continue to abide by guidelines issued by the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) to ensure improved accessibility for the blind to its websites and mobile applications. The web content accessibility guidelines are of particular benefit to blind baseball fans who use a screen reader, through which information on a page is read aloud, or magnification technology on their computers, as well as those who rely on a keyboard instead of a mouse.
Established in June 2000 following a unanimous vote by the 30 Major League Baseball club owners to centralize all of Baseball’s Internet operations, MLB Advanced Media LP (MLBAM) is the interactive media and internet company of Major League Baseball. MLBAM manages the official league site, www.MLB.com, and each of the 30 individual Club sites to create the most comprehensive Major League Baseball resource on the Internet. MLB.com offers fans the most complete baseball information and interactivity on the web, including up-to-date statistics, game previews and summaries, extensive historical information, online ticket sales, baseball merchandise, authenticated memorabilia and collectibles, fantasy games, live full-game video webcasts and on-demand highlights, live and archived audio broadcasts of every game, Gameday pitch-by-pitch application, around-the-clock hosted and specialty video programming and complete blogging capabilities. MLB.com offers more live events on the Internet than any other website in the world.
About the American Council of the Blind (ACB), Bay State Council of the Blind (BSCB) and the California Council of the Blind (CCB)
The American Council of the Blind is a national consumer-based advocacy organization working on behalf of blind and visually impaired Americans throughout the country, with members organized through seventy state and special interest affiliates. The Bay State and California Councils are the Massachusetts and California affiliates of the ACB. The ACB, BSCB and CCB are dedicated to improving the quality of life, equality of opportunity and independence of all people who have visual impairments. Their members and affiliated organizations have a long history of commitment to the advancement of policies and programs which will enhance independence for people who are blind and visually impaired. Many members of ACB, BSCB and CCB are baseball fans. More information about the organizations can be found by visiting www.acb.org, www.ccbnet.org, and http://www.acb.org/baystate/.
SOURCE MLB Advanced Media, L.P.