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Re: text to speech software

From: Al Gilman <asgilman@iamdigex.net>
Date: Mon, 12 Jul 1999 16:37:06 -0400
Message-Id: <199907122030.QAA31340@relay.interim.iamworld.net>
To: <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
At 08:51 PM 7/12/99 +0100, jonathan chetwynd wrote:

Jay::

>Some members had difficulty understanding why speech to text software was
>not a solution, though an aid.
>
>Audio tapes are no replacement for what I know as Ant and Bee stories, the
>ones with occassional pictures replacing words.
>
>The idea is to provide a demanding but not impossible environment, as people
>have a range of ability, a variety of approaches is essential.
>
>Sorry this took a while to surface.

Al::

One has to distinguish objectives.  

The accessibility guidelines are targeted to a scenario where the objective
is to inform, and one does not care if it is too easy to understand.  This
is not ideal, just actual.

The pedagogical scenario, where it is desired to challenge the reader
enough, but not too much -- that scenario is addressed by the teaching
machines from CAST but not by the guidelines from the WAI.  This is a more
advanced objective requiring greater subtlety.  It can be satisfied by
giving managed access to the wealth of media-redundant information required
in the ideal universally-accessible document.  This is access with
resistance, to build skills where they can be developed.

Note that there is a whole thread to be developed on how excess ease of
comprehension makes content boring, and artfully modulated difficulty in
processing the message can be entertaining and add interest.  This is one
of the reasons why commercial speech is not maximally accessible.  It has
to create interest and not just deliver information.

The teaser for an article is a teaser; it connects with the reader and then
is coy.  It creates the impression that if you read the full article you
will know more than you know now.  Often there is nothing there.  But the
introduction or promotional blurb has to create both connection and
disconnection to motivate the next step.

Al

PS: terminology:

"Ant and Bee stories" -- a _rebus_, if you tolerate obscure words. 



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Received on Monday, 12 July 1999 16:30:59 GMT

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