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RE: Requirements for external text alternatives for audio/video

From: Sean Hayes <Sean.Hayes@microsoft.com>
Date: Sun, 28 Mar 2010 20:38:38 +0000
To: Laura Carlson <laura.lee.carlson@gmail.com>, Silvia Pfeiffer <silviapfeiffer1@gmail.com>
CC: Eric Carlson <eric.carlson@apple.com>, Geoff Freed <geoff_freed@wgbh.org>, HTML Accessibility Task Force <public-html-a11y@w3.org>, Matt May <mattmay@adobe.com>, Philippe Le Hegaret <plh@w3.org>
Message-ID: <8DEFC0D8B72E054E97DC307774FE4B9119EFEE56@DB3EX14MBXC315.europe.corp.microsoft.com>
I don’t disagree with the need to provide appropriate alternatives to media, but the mechanism of providing a transcript is perhaps not best provided through the mechanism of trapping captions. As you say, captions would in fact probably not be an adequate replacement for the media without the text of description being included at minimum. Thus a transcript is more like the alt text on an image, a different semantic beast than captions, and probably better provided by other means.

I think there is an important larger issue here. Is the text mechanism intended to provide captions and subtitles; or is the intention, as Silvia's examples would seem to suggest, to use it turn HTML5 into a time based media like SMIL or HTML+TIME.   If the latter, and this mechanism is intended to address corporate branding and advertising, then I think we are straying out of the remit of accessibility into something much larger which would need to be taken up in the wider group.

-----Original Message-----
From: Laura Carlson [mailto:laura.lee.carlson@gmail.com] 
Sent: Sunday, March 28, 2010 8:59 PM
To: Silvia Pfeiffer
Cc: Sean Hayes; Eric Carlson; Geoff Freed; HTML Accessibility Task Force; Matt May; Philippe Le Hegaret
Subject: Re: Requirements for external text alternatives for audio/video

Hi Silvia,

> I think there is actually a need to expose the text of the captions 
> somewhat more.

Unless the full text transcript/video description is exposed and obtainable by the user in HTML, some people will be locked out. Not everyone worldwide has the availability of broadband. Not everyone can use the video itself.

How do I know this? 56K dialup is the only internet connectivity at my residence. Video doesn't work here. Text is the only option to obtain video content. Video grinds everything to a crawl or halt or crash.

Just give me the transcript or better yet, a video description, please.

The deaf-blind use case is similar. They have zero need for the bandwidth hogging of a video when all they want is a transcript/video description.

From the draft Design Principles, "Priority of Constituencies":

"In case of conflict, consider users over authors over implementors over specifiers over theoretical purity."
http://www.w3.org/TR/html-design-principles/#priority-of-constituencies


Best Regards,
Laura

--
Laura L. Carlson

Received on Sunday, 28 March 2010 20:39:20 GMT

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