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RE: Clarification Of Technique 1.3

From: Cynthia Shelly <cyns@whatuwant.net>
Date: Thu, 3 Aug 2000 15:38:15 -0700
Message-ID: <F0CBA28A8CE1D311B64300508BC216222D804B@saruman.seattle.wuwinc.com>
To: "'Wendy A Chisholm'" <wendy@w3.org>, Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>, Chris Ridpath <chris.ridpath@utoronto.ca>
Cc: WAI WCAG List <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>, geoff_freed@wgbh.org
I wonder if we can take a lead from the television industry here.  How are
auditory descriptions handled for music videos on MTV's television station?
How about closed captioning?  Would it be reasonable to expect MTV to
preserve whatever accommodations have already been made in the video for TV
consumption when converting it online consumption?  


-----Original Message-----
From: Wendy A Chisholm [mailto:wendy@w3.org]
Sent: Thursday, August 03, 2000 8:57 AM
To: Charles McCathieNevile; Chris Ridpath
Cc: WAI WCAG List; geoff_freed@wgbh.org
Subject: Re: Clarification Of Technique 1.3


Hello,

The debate that we had on the Evaluation and Repair Tools list (ER) was to 
decide when auditory descriptions must be provided.

Ignoring the "until user agents" clause of checkpoint 1.3, it reads, 
"provide an auditory description of the important information of the visual 
track of a multimedia presentation. [Priority 1]."  This means that every 
multimedia presentation needs an auditory description.  I am not sure that 
is necessary nor feasible.  I'll illustrate this with a few examples.

1. Silent movies
Usually, there is video and the only audio is music of some sort (usually a 
piano).  A summary of what has been said is visually displayed every so 
often.  Is a transcript (that includes descriptions of major visual events) 
enough or does a synchronized auditory description need to be provided?

2. Music videos
Music videos are visual expressions of songs.  Usually, they show the 
people who have made the music, sometimes they have a story line, there is 
usually lots of lipsynching and dancing.  Do they need a synchronized 
auditory description?  Oftentimes the video has nothing to do with the 
music.  Is a transcript (that includes descriptions of major visual events) 
enough?  Is a transcript required?

Does it depend on context?  If the movie is being studied for comic timing 
or how to make silent films, then is the auditory description required? If 
someone who is blind is watching the movie with someone who has sight, the 
person who is blind would not know when to express emotion.   On the other 
hand, if the silent film is a commercial or a decoration of some sort, is 
the text transcript enough?

In the case of the music video, it seems to make sense to describe 
something like Michael Jackson's "Thriller" video since it has such an 
involved story line.  Although I would only synchronize descriptions to the 
sections of the video when there is no music but the dialog, action and 
story line continue. However, I would only say this is priority 1 (must) if 
the context that the video is presented in is to study the video for some 
reason (music video 101).  If it's just for enjoyment (on mtv.com) I would 
lower this to a priority 2 (should).

On the other hand, no matter what the context, I do not see the need to 
provide a synchronized description to Sinead O'Connor's "Nothing Compares 
to You" music video since it's just a close up of her face as she 
sings.  If I were working for mtv.com and posting this video, I would 
provide a static, text description of the nature of the video and what she 
looks like, "A close-up of Sinead singing.  Her pale white face and bald 
head contrast with the black background.  Midway through the song she sheds 
a tear and in general looks very anguished...."

The primary question is, what is the minimum requirement that must be met 
to conform to checkpoint 1.3?  Must an auditory description be provided for 
every multimedia presentation?

Thoughts?  Are there other examples where the need for an auditory 
description is questionable? where context may determine if it is required 
or not?

I hope I have not offended anyone.  If you disagree with my reasoning, I am 
obviously open to discussion since I am posting this to the WCAG list with 
a series of questions and no firm conclusions.  I understand that 
independent of context, people want information.  I am trying to find a 
reasonable balance between what authors need to provide and what users need 
to understand the content.  I believe that once we can rely on speech 
synthesis to create a synchronized auditory description this will become 
less of an issue.  But until then, there are concerns from authors about 
cost and implementation.  If we need to push them we will.  However, I want 
to be sure of the necessary requirements.

Thanks,
--wendy

At 09:49 PM 8/2/00 , Charles McCathieNevile wrote:
>An Audio equivalent to video is necessary in the same situations that a
text
>equivalent is necessary (ignoring the question of whether it is OK to rely
on
>synthesising speech from the text equivalent), In My Humble Opinion.
>
>I don't know of anyone doing a lot of audio description (but then I can
point
>to a lot of other access barriers that people haven't removed yet too).
>
>just my personal thoughts on the topic
>
>Charles McCN
>
>On Wed, 2 Aug 2000, Chris Ridpath wrote:
>
>   Ignoring the "until user agents" clause for a minute, when is an audio
>   description necessary?
>
>   Does anyone know of a site that provides audio descriptions for their
>   multimedia?
>
>   Wondering,
>   Chris
>
>
>   ----- Original Message -----
>   From: "Charles McCathieNevile" <charles@w3.org>
>   To: "Chris Ridpath" <chris.ridpath@utoronto.ca>
>   Cc: "WAI WCAG List" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>; "Al Gilman" 
> <asgilman@iamdigex.net>
>   Sent: Tuesday, August 01, 2000 1:05 AM
>   Subject: Re: Clarification Of Technique 1.3
>
>
>   > I guess the real question is whether the until user agents condition
in
>   WCAG
>   > checkpoint 1.3 has been met...
>   >
>   > Thoughts?
>   >
>   > On Fri, 28 Jul 2000, Chris Ridpath wrote:
>   >
>   >   OK. The requirement for an audio description is not dependant on the
>   >   presence of a text description.
>   >
>   >   > An audio description is required when what you miss by not seeing
the
>   >   video
>   >   > is [something in the range of (significant, important, critical)].
>   >   >
>   >   An audio description is much more difficult to create than a text
>   >   description and the file size is much larger. So we need to be clear
>   about
>   >   when it's required before telling the author to do all this work.
>   >
>   >   Do all important/significant/critical videos require an audio
>   description?
>   >
>   >   Is an audio description necessary if there is a good text
description?
>   >
>   >   Chris
>   >
>   >
>   >   ----- Original Message -----
>   >   From: "Al Gilman" <asgilman@iamdigex.net>
>   >   To: "Chris Ridpath" <chris.ridpath@utoronto.ca>; "WAI WCAG List"
>   >   <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
>   >   Sent: Friday, July 28, 2000 2:07 PM
>   >   Subject: Re: Clarification Of Technique 1.3
>   >
>   >
>   >   > At 11:06 AM 2000-07-28 -0400, Chris Ridpath wrote:
>   >   > >I'm looking for some clarification on technique 1.3:
>   >   > >
>   >   > >"1.3 Until user agents can automatically read aloud the text
>   equivalent
>   >   of a
>   >   > >visual track, provide an auditory description of the important
>   >   information
>   >   > >of the visual track of a multimedia presentation. [Priority 1]"
>   >   > >
>   >   > >Does this mean that an audio description is required only if 
> there is
>   a
>   >   text
>   >   > >equivalent of a visual track? Or, when is an audio description
>   required?
>   >   >
>   >   > The description is required when it is required, not just when it
is
>   >   provided.
>   >   >
>   >   > An audio description is required when what you miss by not seeing
the
>   >   video
>   >   > is [something in the range of (significant, important, critical)].
>   Once
>   >   > User Agents 'all' do synchronized audible playback of a text
>   description
>   >   > track as a native function, a synchronized text equivalent will
meet
>   the
>   >   > requirement for a description.  Until then, provide audio.
>   >   >
>   >   > The requirement for a description is determined by the complexity
and
>   >   > importance of the video, not by what the author has done about the
>   >   > requirement.
>   >   >
>   >   > The "until user agents" clause only affect whether this
description
>   must
>   >   be
>   >   > in audio or may be only in text.  It has nothing to do with the
>   criteria
>   >   > for when a description is required.
>   >   >
>   >   > Is that the way others recall, too?
>   >   >
>   >   > Al
>   >   >
>   >   > >
>   >   > >Thanks,
>   >   > >Chris
>   >   > >
>   >   >
>   >
>   >
>   > --
>   > Charles McCathieNevile    mailto:charles@w3.org    phone: +61 (0) 409
134
>   136
>   > W3C Web Accessibility Initiative
>   http://www.w3.org/WAI
>   > Location: I-cubed, 110 Victoria Street, Carlton VIC 3053
>   > Postal: GPO Box 2476V, Melbourne 3001,  Australia
>   >
>
>
>--
>Charles McCathieNevile    mailto:charles@w3.org    phone: +61 (0) 409 134
136
>W3C Web Accessibility Initiative                      http://www.w3.org/WAI
>Location: I-cubed, 110 Victoria Street, Carlton VIC 3053
>Postal: GPO Box 2476V, Melbourne 3001,  Australia

--
wendy a chisholm
world wide web consortium
web accessibility initiative
madison, wi usa
tel: +1 608 663 6346
/--
Received on Thursday, 3 August 2000 18:37:54 GMT

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