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Re: Web and TV Accessibility

From: Silvia Pfeiffer <silviapfeiffer1@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 15 Sep 2011 01:31:52 -0400
Message-ID: <CAHp8n2=QjeE-2x+O=XzwagZGohPOy2tB0kY8PrVXh7trsAL8nw@mail.gmail.com>
To: Robert Pearson <robert.pearson@ami.ca>
Cc: "public-web-and-tv@w3.org" <public-web-and-tv@w3.org>
On Wed, Sep 14, 2011 at 3:32 PM, Robert Pearson <robert.pearson@ami.ca>wrote:

>  Hello everyone,****
>
> ** **
>
> As you know, we’ve just joined the mailing list discussions and are focused
> upon accessibility.  Unfortunately we are not able to join you all next week
> for the workshop and the face to face, but we’ve compiled some thoughts on
> the topic of Web and TV Accessibility that we felt appropriate to pass along
> to this mailing list, as approved by Kaz and Francois, as the schedule is
> set already for next week.  Perhaps they may be able to generate some
> discussion then on the topic of accessibility as the idea of an
> Accessibility TF is further discussed.****
>
> ** **
>
> A word document version is attached and a plain text version appears below,
> following my signature.****
>
> ** **
>
> We look forward to continuing the discussion with you all going forward.**
> **
>
> ** **
>
> Regards,****
>
> ** **
>
> [image: Description: Description: Description:
> cid:08E24B25-3C56-4902-BF67-3D80D7C6AF6B]****
>
> ** **
>
> ROBERT PEARSON**
>
> *DIRECTOR, ACCESSIBLE DIGITAL MEDIA***
>
> direct: 647 729 3917****
>
> toll free: 1 800 567 6755**
>
> 1090 Don Mills Road, Suite 200**
>
> Toronto, ON M3C 3R6**
>
> www.ami.ca**
>
> ** **
>
> *Web and TV Accessibility*
>
> ** **
>
> For decades, the accessibility of TV has been a concern.  Being a medium
> that is consumed through sight and sound, the needs of those experiencing
> deficiencies in these two capacities have never been fully met.  The
> technology of closed captioning for the hearing impaired and audio
> description/described video for the visually impaired have evolved at
> different rates and the availability of these two technologies continues to
> be limited.  Although, being a more straightforward technology to implement,
> the availability of closed captioning on both analog and digital signals
> have been much more significant than audio description.  Closed captioning
> technologies benefit from established standards, while audio description
> standards do not yet exist.  These technologies have not typically been a
> significant requirement of licensing; therefore their availability continues
> to be limited along with the methods and appropriate processes for their
> implementation.  ****
>
> ** **
>
> The accessibility of TV has historically not been amongst the top
> priorities of the industry.  For instance, despite the length of its
> existence, closed captioning has changed little since it was first
> conceived.  Television though has evolved from analog to digital to 3D along
> with significant increases in available programming.  In response to this
> inconsistent evolution of the medium and the deployment of accessible
> technologies, advocacy organizations have been critical of the broadcasting
> industry for not doing enough to meet their needs for social inclusion in
> the consumption of media.  However, while slowly progressing, the needs of
> those requiring a special accommodation have received significantly
> increased recognition in recent years.  New standards, laws and regulations
> have shown that the community that requires accessibility accommodations has
> been patient long enough.  These new policies are allowing broadcasting
> technology the ability to evolve to allow for enhanced captioning and
> standardized audio description to ensure that everyone’s needs are met and
> no one is left behind, everyone feels included and that the world becomes a
> more accessible place.****
>
> ** **
>
> Accessible Media Inc. (AMI) is a not-for-profit multimedia organization
> operating two broadcast services, VoicePrint and The Accessible Channel –
> TACtv along with a companion website (http://www.ami.ca/).  The Accessible
> Channel is the only 100% open-captioned and 100% described television
> station in the world to serve the needs of blind and the hearing impaired.
> We are focused upon providing media accessibility to all Canadians.  We work
> closely with our industry partners to increase the availability of captioned
> and described programming across the spectrum, while also ensuring that we
> provide accessible content onto other platforms.****
>
> ** **
>
> TV is evolving onto these other platforms.  An opportunity exists to ensure
> that at the beginning of this evolution, accessibility becomes a priority
> and practice as the medium of television becomes widely available via the
> medium of the web or on mobile.  This will be accomplished through the use
> of universal and inclusive designs and the application of standards such as
> HTML 5 that provide for accessible design.  The evolution needs to be
> consistent and take into consideration the mistakes that were made in
> regards to accessibility in the past.  There is an opportunity to unite two
> historically opposed communities on the topic of accessible TV with
> standardization and education.  TV on the web or on mobile can be made to be
> accessible if the intent of the industry is to focus upon accomplishing it
> correctly.****
>
> ** **
>
> There are two critical requirements.****
>
> **1.                   **Throughput of closed captioning on television
> content displayed on the web with considerations for the evolution of the
> technology along with considerations for the quality of that captioning.
> The user also needs to be provided with the ability to turn it on and off.
> New technologies also need to be considered including; the usage of graphics
> within closed captions and the question as to how one is able to caption 3D
> television content.****
>
> **2.                   **Throughput of audio description on television
> content displayed on the web with considerations for the evolution of the
> technology along with considerations for the quality of that description.
> The user also needs to be provided with the ability to turn it on and off.
> Standards also need to be considered including; international techniques,
> local considerations and different language structures.  Being partly an art
> and partly a science, a variety of techniques can be developed to provide
> accurate and universally inclusive description of television programming.*
> ***
>
> ** **
>
> In order to address these requirements, an accessible and secure media
> player is required.  The HTML 5 standard could allow for the creation of an
> accessible player once support for its framework exists.  Copyright, the
> rights to produced television content and security will need to be
> considerations.  The accessibility of player controls with assistive
> technologies such as speech browsers and zoom tools will also need to be
> considerations.  While television is already available over the web with
> some of these considerations, a fully accessible solution does not yet
> exist.  The implementation of these two critical requirements to ensure the
> delivery of fully accessible television content over the web is only in its
> infancy with solutions available such as those on Youtube and only for
> closed captioning.  In the absence of standards, audio description has yet
> to see any mainstream implementation.****
>
> ** **
>
> We believe that the formation of an Accessibility Task Force within the
> W3C’s Web and TV Interest Group could provide direction to the establishment
> of these requirements to ensure the availability of accessible television
> content over the web.  The opportunity exists as TV evolves onto other
> platforms that the accessibility concerns of the past do not continue to be
> an issue going forward.****
>
> ------------------------------
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> you.
>


Are you aware of the <track> element in HTML5 and all the different kinds of
timed text tracks it can provide to video? These include captions,
subtitles, descriptions, and chapters (as in: navigation), as well as
multitrack audio and video support (for audio descriptions and sign
language). Also, there was a media group in the accessibility task force of
HTML5 which specified a requirements list, see
http://www.w3.org/WAI/PF/HTML/wiki/Media_Accessibility_Requirements . Is
there any requirement you have that is not yet considered?

Regards,
Silvia.


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Received on Thursday, 15 September 2011 05:32:41 GMT

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