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RE: More absurdity with captions and descriptions

From: Paul Bohman <paulb@cpd2.usu.edu>
Date: Mon, 25 Nov 2002 17:20:18 -0700
To: "'Joe Clark'" <joeclark@joeclark.org>, "'WAI-GL'" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <005601c294e1$999a3d90$ef117b81@Spot>

In response to Joe's comments about the last meeting's minutes:

My comments were paraphrased like this:

generally, i can read captions and not have loss of
understanding. even the cooking demo - is it necessary?
i feel i could read captions and understand what was going on.
<end quote>

Joe's response was:

"Well, here we go with the hypotheticals again."

To which I respond:

First of all, Joe, the meeting minutes are paraphrased, and, since you
weren't there to hear the actual conversation, it's easy for you to
assume things that aren't necessarily so, and to jump to conclusions.

As it turns out, my whole point was that we needed to have evidence on
the issues before acting one way or the other. My comment about my
personal experience, was, in fact, to show that hypotheticals were an
insufficient basis upon which to base a success criterion within the
guidelines. So, as it turns out, I was making the same point that you
just made, but I had the advantage of having participated in the meeting
personally, so I know what I actually said.

It may be true that the meeting minutes are inadequate (as any meeting
minutes are bound to be), and it may be true that the paraphrased
version of my comments give the impression that I am recommending things
based on my uninformed opinion alone, but since this was not the case, I
needed to clarify what was actually said.

Gregg is was paraphrased in the meeting minutes like this:

for cooking shows, etc not usually a problem. only during a
detailed training.
<end quote>

Joe's response was:

I watch a lot of cooking shows-- ... Do we not, in fact, have 
enormous experience watching cooking shows and captions 
simultaneously? Is this not the worst possible example, and not merely a
one? Does this example not prove the absurdity of the requirement?
<end quote>

My response:

After a lengthy discussion, we had basically agreed that under nearly
all circumstances, it would *not* be necessary to fulfill this
requirement. We decided that the cooking show was a bad example of when
this requirement would need to be fulfilled. We decided to come up with
a rewording of the requirement and to pick a different example entirely.
In fact, we decided that the cooking example would be an instance in
which the requirement would *not* need to be met. One possible example
of an instance in which this requirement would come into play would be
if there is a lot of text on the screen, e.g. detailed statistics (not
captions) *PLUS* captions of narration if the narration was different
from the on-screen text. (FYI: the example that I just mentioned was not
decided upon as "official", but it was presented as an instance in which
there could be some confusion on the part of the viewer, and thus was a
possible circumstance under which the success criteron might make sense,
pending research, additional expert opinion, and discussion on this

In response to my paraphrased comments:

before getting into live streams, since that is a bit diff
concept, is there evidence that it is better to have simultaneous 
caption and demo, or demo then caption.
<end quote>

Joe remarked:

You are essentially asking for a new medium to be developed, one that 
brings the 19th-century usage of intertitles into the 21st century. 
The goal here is apparently to force filmmakers to create segmented 
animated slideshows that leapfrog caption tracks or that can be run 
in tandem with captions only if you opt into such a display...
Could somebody out there give me five present-day examples of such a 
cinematic form? ...
<end quote>

My response:

How heartening to see that you're attacking me again for making the same
point and presenting the same concern in the meeting that you just made
here. The reason that I was asking for evidence that it would be better
was because I know that video is not produced that way, and likely never
will be, and that is essentially what I said in the meeting. Just like
you, I was concerned that such a requirement would by rejected outright
by video producers as well as web developers. 

Joe's additional comments:

I believe there is an undercurrent here of accommodating people with 
learning disabilities.

My response:

I don't believe we ever decided to make guidelines for all disabily
types *except* for those with learning disabilities. Perhaps that was a
decision that you made independently.

Joe asked:
Where's the evidence of the problem? Where is the evidence that the
proposed solution will actually cure 
the disease and not kill the patient?
<end quote>

My response:

Your request for evidence is strikingly familiar to mine in the same
context. Please recognize that fact.

That is as far as I'm going to go at least in this email.

Paul Bohman
Technology Coordinator
WebAIM (Web Accessibility in Mind)
Center for Persons with Disabilities
Utah State University
Received on Monday, 25 November 2002 19:20:28 UTC

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