Blind Comcast Exec Working on Next-Generation TV Technology


The Inquirer reports on Tom Wlodkowski, a blind Comcast exec who is trying to develop a talking TV guide for use by the company’s visually impaired customers. For real.

“The television is not strictly as visual a medium as you might think,” said David Goldfield, a computer technology instructor at the Associated Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired. “Radio drama in the U.S. is more or less dead. If you are blind and you want a good story, you’re still going to get it on television.”

Wlodkowski thinks he also can drive business. People with disabilities account for $200 billion in discretionary spending power, and catering to their needs, he believes, can boost brand loyalty.

“We will meet the requirements of the (Americans With Disabilities) law, but we also believe there can be innovation,” he said.

The talking guide should come with Comcast’s next-generation X2 platform in 2014.