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Re: Issue 30 (Was: RE: Getting HTML5 to Recommendation in 2014)

From: Geoff Freed <geoff_freed@wgbh.org>
Date: Fri, 21 Sep 2012 13:51:38 +0000
To: Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>, "public-html@w3.org" <public-html@w3.org>
CC: Adrian Roselli <Roselli@algonquinstudios.com>, John Foliot <john@foliot.ca>
Message-ID: <A3CD72FE7CF8DE4B953A034D1982200C2FDA9052@WSMBX2.wgbh.org>

One comment below.
Geoff Freed
WGBH/NCAM


On Sep 20, 2012, at 6:32 PM, John Foliot wrote:

> Sam Ruby wrote:
>> 
>> In fact, there is also a point that I would like clarification on.  I
>> would like to know if longdesc is only ever intended to be used in
>> controlled educational environments with significant copyright
>> restrictions and for that usage universal adoption by mainstream
>> browsers is not a requirement?
>> 
> 
> If I may:
> 
> I think we have unquestionably demonstrated that there is an immediate need
> TODAY for a mechanism that addresses the need for longer textual
> descriptions in the EDU sector. 
> 
> However, I will also point out that Geoff Freed of NCAM referenced a US
> Federally funded initiative that is seeking to improve the overall corpus of
> Longer Textual descriptions on the web, without specifically targeting that
> to one unique vertical market. 
> 
> We currently have one publishing vertical that is signally an urgent need,
> but that does not exclude others: Museums, government sector, health sector,
> etc.; content producers publishing content that is not as ephemeral as other
> popular web content.

To broaden the point, the DIAGRAM project (the federally funded project to which John refers, above), is not the only entity promoting the creation and use of quality image descriptions.  Three others are listed below, none of which are focused solely on the academic sphere:

-- RNIB's accessible-image guidelines:  http://www.rnib.org.uk/professionals/accessibleinformation/accessibleformats/accessibleimages/Pages/accessible_images.aspx

-- Art Beyond Sight's guidelines for verbal descriptions (largely focused on art):
http://www.artbeyondsight.org/handbook/acs-guidelines.shtml

-- City University of London's study of current image-description practices (2006ish but still applicable):
http://www-users.cs.york.ac.uk/~petrie/HCII05_alt_text_Paper.pdf

Also, I can say (but cannot reveal names) that there are many publishers, not just the one or two whose names have been mentioned on this list, that are working quickly to provide long image descriptions in textbooks.  The same can be said for entities that create educational assessments-- tests, evaluations, etc.  John's use of the word "immediate" is not an overstatement.
Received on Friday, 21 September 2012 13:52:15 GMT

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