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Re: Acessibility of <audio> and <video>

From: Lachlan Hunt <lachlan.hunt@lachy.id.au>
Date: Mon, 01 Sep 2008 17:52:15 +0200
Message-ID: <48BC0FAF.7080707@lachy.id.au>
To: Philip TAYLOR <P.Taylor@Rhul.Ac.Uk>
Cc: Anne van Kesteren <annevk@opera.com>, Boris Zbarsky <bzbarsky@mit.edu>, HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>

Philip TAYLOR wrote:
> Anne van Kesteren wrote:
>> At that point authors don't have to do much more than <video 
>> src=geweldig></video> and make sure the geweldig resource is 
>> accessible.
> This is passing the buck.  Scenario : the Principal addresses the 
> University and his address is recorded; his aide asks the webmaster 
> to put the video up on the web.  The webmaster looks at the video and 
> finds there are no closed-captions, no subtitles, no accessibility 
> features at all.  What is he to do ?  Refuse to put it up.  That 
> would be a brave webmaster indeed.  No, instead he puts it up, then 
> relies on the intelligent design of HTML 5 to allow him to add 
> accessibility features to overcome the deficiencies of the raw 
> material. And it is our responsibility to make sure that he can do 
> this.

HTML should not be relied upon as the ultimate solution to all 
accessibility issues for all the different types of media that might be 
embedded in a page.

Consider your above scenario, but instead of a video, it's some 
Flash-based media.  It is the responsibility of the person creating a 
Flash to make it accessible using Flash's accessibility features.  When 
working in a web development team, the person building the HTML is often 
different from the person creating the Flash.  Although it is often the 
HTML developer's job to integrate it into the page, it can't be the HTML 
developer's job to compensate for the Flash developer's failure to make 
use of Flash's accessibility features.

Likewise, it is the responsibility of the person on the team creating, 
editing and compressing the video for the web, to make it accessible by, 
for example, including a subtitle stream.  This is not too difficult for 
to do.  Writing subtitles in, for example, SRT format and muxing them 
into an appropriate container format can be done with freely available 

Another possible solution is to provide description/transcript of the 
video.  But such a thing is useful for more than just people without 
support for video, and providing a link to such a thing nearby that is 
available to everyone is a much better approach than trying to stick the 
transcript within the video element, where it is only available to 
people without video enabled.

Lachlan Hunt - Opera Software
Received on Monday, 1 September 2008 15:52:57 UTC

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