For the past several years, September has been the time for me to renew my subscription to the University of Wisconsin athletic broadcasts offered on Yahoo’s college sports broadcast services. This year I hunted and hunted but Badger broadcasts were not to be found. As it turned out, Bucky Badger decided to go with a different online partner for streaming media, namely CBS sports.
Well, the first football game day rolled around so I tried to sign up for the new offering only to find about zero accessibility of the site. A Silverlight player is the heart of the site and much like Flash there’s potential for accessibility or not, depending on what’s done.
I was disappointed to say the least. As a Wisconsin alum, I expected better from the UW. I recognize Wisconsin didn’t build the service but before making the switch I would have hoped to see more investigation of accessibility. To Wisconsin’s credit, once they were made aware of the accessibility challenges, they’ve been great about finding ways to allow me to listen to Badger broadcasts while the issues are resolved. I can only wonder what other universities who use this same service are doing.
The UW now tells me that CBS is supposed to be releasing an update to the site that fixes both keyboard and programmatic accessibility. Recent communication from the UW said in part:
Kelly: We truly appreciate your continued patience. CBS informed us last week: “Our release including the ADA fix is targeted for 10-Nov-09. We are exposing both accessibility info as well as making items reachable from the keyboard”, so expect that their site will be fully accessible.
I don’t know about “fully accessible” but I’m somewhat hopeful for improvements here. We’ll see next week about this time what I can say.