W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > August 2009

Re: Recording teleconferences?

From: Vicki Stanton <vicki.stanton@gmail.com>
Date: Sat, 15 Aug 2009 17:42:21 +0800
Message-ID: <6552bf760908150242m1f2f7954ra80854cad0722956@mail.gmail.com>
To: public-html@w3.org
Cc: John Foliot <jfoliot@stanford.edu>, Jonas Sicking <jonas@sicking.cc>, Matt May <mattmay@adobe.com>, Laura Carlson <laura.lee.carlson@gmail.com>, Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>
John Foliot wrote:
> without the transcript the posting will not meet the
> WCAG requirement. Does the HTML WG care about this?
> Dan C. posted earlier that by W3C policy transcripts must be included with
> audio and video content. Does this affect the decision process?
> In both cases the decisions are policy driven and not technology driven.

> The one thing that I don't want however is
> for this to be seen as "the accessibility extremists" frustrating
> progress. The WG should do what it thinks is right.

I hope the transcript issue doesn't get in the way of the argument
for/against recording the teleconferences. It does seem to me,
however, that we should be enthusiastically leading the way, not be
dragged kicking and screaming into compliance with W3C policy.

Jonas Sickling wrote:
> I care much more about what helps people than what is policy. So if
> something helps people but goes against WCAG (or any other policy)
> then I would choose to go against WCAG policy in order to help people.

Funny you should say that. It was drummed into me in my first web
development job years ago (and I still adhere to the principle) that
in practical implementation, the spirit of the guidelines is just as
important as the actual guidelines. If we keep equity and
accessibility in mind in everything we do regardless of whether or not
official guidelines apply, we're not likely to exclude any group of
users, however small in comparison to the majority - neither those
with disabilities nor those with limitations imposed by their hardware
or software or infrastructure (or time zone!).

John Foliot wrote:
> Assuming however that publishing an audio file as part of official W3C
> business without a transcript is actually a viable option, completely
> ignores the social component of the larger discussion

I am professional web developer who is a strong advocate of web
standards and web accessibility. But I constantly have difficulty
participating in many of the things other professionals can
participate in, due to my deafness. Even after I received cochlear
implants last year, although my hearing will continue to improve I
still usually need to look at people's faces when they talk, and need
to ask people to repeat themselves. This makes meetings of any kind
difficult, as conversations tend to flow quite fast. At this point in
time I generally don't hear on the phone, particularly when talking
with someone with an accent different to my own. Sometimes I can
follow video without captions but mostly I can't. Audio alone is
currently almost impossible.

This difficulty, affecting "just one" individual (except of course
it's likely to be many more besides myself even within the HTML WG -
people who tend not to want to jump up and down about it and instead
just accept peripheral participation) may not seem like a big deal to
many of the WG members, but it's isolating and frustrating in the
extreme for intelligent professionals who feel they have a lot to
offer - if they could just know what's going on!

Web accessibility in general doesn't have to be difficult or
expensive. Sometimes small measures can mean the world to many
individuals. John - thanks for your generous offer of paying for the
first transcript. It does mean a lot to those of us who are otherwise
excluded, and in ways that go far beyond the value of the actual
information accessed.

On a different note, another aspect to consider is that transcripts
are often more useful than audio to people who can hear perfectly
well. Many folks who can't attend "in person", especially due to time
or time zone constraints, prefer to read a transcript at their leisure
rather than have to set aside a block of time to listen to an audio
file all the way through.

Vicki.  :-)
Received on Saturday, 15 August 2009 09:42:56 UTC

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