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Re: Clarification Of Technique 1.3

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Fri, 4 Aug 2000 04:57:58 -0400 (EDT)
To: Wendy A Chisholm <wendy@w3.org>
cc: Chris Ridpath <chris.ridpath@utoronto.ca>, WAI WCAG List <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>, geoff_freed@wgbh.org
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.20.0008040443250.19776-100000@tux.w3.org>
The defintions of "important", and "user agents are able to render a text
equivalent as audio" are key to answering this question.

Synchronisation of equivalents is fundamentally important in many time-based
presentations - "The Crying Game" would not be half the presentation it is if
the key surprise is given to part of the audience before the build-up. THis
is about dramaturgy, and how to make it accessible. There is a difference
between a book and a movie and a radio play, and there are ways of making
them work, or not work. Where you have a radio play with text alongside, for
example, it becomes more interesting to keep the "feel" of the presentation.

The question of context is in large part one of implementation priority - in
order to make something accessible it does depend to a certain extent on what
the context is, because in some contexts a full understanding or full
equivalent is not really necessary, and in others it is important to get as
close an equivalent as possible. (Think of the different uses of alt, title
and longdesc for an image as one example of this).

This is an area where accessibility requires considerable thought, skill, or
experience to do well. (As is writing a music video in the first place.)
Fortunately, the actual technical barriers are much lower. So in order to
make these things accessible there is some work to be done. Should we do that
work in all cases? Of course. Which part to do first? That's a case-by-case
question.

Some detailed comments interspersed below - look for CMN or WC

Charles


On Thu, 3 Aug 2000, Wendy A Chisholm wrote:

  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.
  
CMN not really. It means that every multimedia presentation with important
information needs an audio equivalent, which is (admittedly only
slightly) different).
WC
  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?
CMN  
Until user agents can read the transcript out loud, there needs to be an
audio version in order to provide accessibility.
WC
  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?
CMN  
It hinges on the definition of important. It may not be important to know
more than that the band is playing for the clip of "Ob-la-Di". It may equally
be important to explain the relevance of the imagery used in the clip of "I
want to be Jim Morrison" (by the Widowed Isis, for the obsessively
curious). But there is a question of how to describe it - that there are
snakes and fire threaded through the clip, or to synchronise it so that
Sinead's tear is mentioned at the critical point, not beofer or after since
the emotional impact of that moment is supposed to be important.

-Chaals
WC
  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
  /--
  

--
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 
Received on Friday, 4 August 2000 05:00:01 GMT

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