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WCAG 2 - 1.2 and Caption/Audio Description Policies

From: Katie Haritos-Shea <ryladog@earthlink.net>
Date: Thu, 9 Sep 2004 13:01:19 -0700 (PDT)
Message-ID: <26313704.1094760079188.JavaMail.root@skeeter.psp.pas.earthlink.net>
To: w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org, w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
Cc: wendy@w3.org


Guideline 1.2 Provide synchronized media equivalents for time-dependent presentations.

Level 1 Success Criteria for Guideline 1.2
An audio description of visual events is provided for audio-visual media. [I] 
Captions are provided for all significant dialogue and sounds in time-dependent material. [I] 
Descriptions and captions are synchronized with the events they represent. [I] 

A text transcript or other non-audio equivalent does not need to be synchronized with the multimedia presentation if all four of the following statements are true:

the content is real-time and

the content is audio-only and

the content is not time-sensitive and

the content is not interactive


This exception applies to both success criteria 2 and 3 above.

If the Web content is real-time video with audio, real-time captions are provided. [I] 

If the content is a music program that is primarily non-vocal, then captions are not required.

If the Web content is real-time, non-interactive video (for example, a Webcam view of surrounding conditions such as weather information), then one of the following is provided: [I] 
a substitute that conforms to guideline 1.1 (for example, an ongoing text report of weather conditions)

a link to a substitute that conforms to guideline 1.1 (for example, a link to a weather Web site that conforms to Guideline 1.1)

If a presentation that contains only audio or only video requires users to respond interactively at specific times during the presentation, then a synchronized equivalent presentation (audio, visual or text) is provided. [I] 

If content that is rebroadcast from another medium or resource meets accessibility requirements for that medium, then the rebroadcast satisfies this checkpoint if it complies with other applicable sections of WCAG 2.0

Information on Captioning Policy 

1. Tasmanian Government Captioning Policy 

The Tasmanian Government‚€™s policy on captioning, to meet legislative requirements by 2004.

The Tasmanian Government is committed to ensuring equity of access to government information and services. The Deaf and hearing impaired members of the Tasmanian community should be able to receive the message of a government communication via television or the new media to the same extent as hearing members of the community.

This policy has therefore been developed: 
o	to ensure that members of the community with a hearing impairment have access to Tasmanian Government information with a level of independence equal to that of other members of the community
o	to raise awareness of the need to present information in a way that makes it accessible to the diversity of people who make up the community, including those with a disability.

Legislation relevant to this policy includes:
o	Disability Services Act 1992
o	Tasmanian Anti-Discrimination Act 1998
o	Broadcasting Services (Digital Conversion) Act 1998
o	Broadcasting Services (Digital Television Standards) Regulations 2000

Effective 1 January 2001, Subclause 38 (1) of Schedule 4 of the Broadcasting Services Act requires TV programs shown in prime viewing hours (6-10.30pm) on all free-to-air Australian TV stations to be captioned, plus all news and current affairs programs outside those hours. All regional stations, including those in Tasmania, are expected to comply by 2004 or from the date they convert to digital transmission.

Policy Statement

>From 1 July 2003 all television commercials/community service announcements, videos, digital video discs (DVDs) and CD-ROMS produced for broadcast by or for the Tasmanian Government for viewing by the public must include captioning* for the Deaf and hearing impaired. This includes general information videos and DVDs playing in a government office, customer service area, public hospital, public event or trade show, and videos and DVDs that the public can request, hire or purchase.

* Captioning is the process by which the Deaf and hearing impaired can ‚€˜read‚€™ the soundtrack of a television program, television commercial, video, DVD or CD-ROM. Unlike foreign language subtitles, which are a translation of the dialogue only, captions include other elements of the soundtrack such as sound effects and music. They are also coloured and positioned on screen to help the viewer follow who is speaking. 

Closed captioning (seen only by people using a teletext TV or a digital set-up box** which complies with Australian Standards) must be used in all new television commercials made for or by the Tasmanian Government for viewing by the public.

(**There are now 4 brands of digital set-up box which comply with Australian Standards ‚€“ DGTEC, UEC, Strong and eMTech. For the most up to date list of what equipment is available at any time, ring the Australian Caption Centre on 1800 777 801).

Open captioning (visible on a standard television, video cassette player, DVD or CD-ROM player and seen by all viewers) must be used in all new videos, DVDs, and CD-ROMS made by or for the Tasmanian Government for viewing by the public.

Reporting Arrangements

Government Department communication/marketing offices are required to report annually to the Director Communications Policy, Department of Premier and Cabinet, on all advertising that includes captioning.

Contact Information

Australian Caption Centre
Phone:	(02) 9212 5277
Freecall: 	1800 777 801
Internet site: 	http://www.auscap.com.au

For further information or enquiries contact:

Director Communications Policy
Department of Premier and Cabinet
Tel (03) 6233 6342
Fax (03) 6234 1572

2. CAD CHAT (A Publication of the Canadian Association of the Deaf)

Deaf Canadians Hails Launch of CBC, Full Captioned

OTTAWA ‚€” ‚€œNovember 1st, 2002,is a day that will celebrated among Deaf Canadians forever,‚€ predicted Chris Kenopic, President of the Canadian Association of the Deaf. ‚€œThis is the day when the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation proves it is possible to provide closed captioning for 100 percent of the TV broadcast day!‚€

The CAD, which is the national organization of Deaf Canadians, praised the new CBC captioning policy, which goes into effect today. The CBC and Newsworld will be captioning all material they broadcast, including news updates, station promos, live interviews, sports, and emergency reports.

The policy responds to a complaint filed by Henry Vlug, a Deaf lawyer and a former President of the Canadian Association of the Deaf. The CAD‚€™scurrent President, Chris Kenopic, and Executive Director James Roots both testified as expert witnesses in the case. 

‚€œThe CAD and Deaf individuals have been fighting for more captioning for a quarter of a century,‚€ explained Roots, whose own involvement in advocating captioning stretches back to 1977. ‚€œIn fact, it was the CAD itself that first brought captioning to Canada in the early 1970s. We worked with the CBC to introduce it in this country, and it‚€™s a real pleasure to be working with the CBC again to achieve the dream of 100 percent captioning at last.‚€

Roots added that the CBC‚€™s ability to achieve full schedule captioning just six months after promising to do so has proven the feasibility and affordability of the goal.

‚€œWe‚€™ve been insisting for the past ten years that there is no longer any technological, financial, or human excuse for any TV station to fail to caption all of its programming immediately,‚€ he said. ‚€œThe CBC has finally proven us right. The precedent has been set, and no TV licensee is going to be able to get around it in the future.‚€

Only paid advertising is not subject to the CBC‚€™s new captioning policy. Chris Kenopic promised that the CAD will be monitoring advertisers and will move quickly to contact any of them who reject the CBC‚€™s request for voluntary compliance with the policy.

‚€œAdvertisers had better realize they‚€™re going to look pretty stupid if their commercial is the only thing on the CBC that isn‚€™t captioned,‚€ warned Kenopic.

3. UK - ITC Guidance On Standards for Audio Description


1.1 Background to these Notes

The Broadcasting Act 1996, Section 20(1), requires the ITC to draw up, and from time to time review a code giving guidance as to the how digital programme services should promote the understanding and enjoyment of programmes by sensory impaired people including those who are blind and partially-sighted.

Section 20(3) of the Act requires a minimum proportion of non-excluded programmes in a digital programme service to be accompanied by audio description.  This requirement also applies to qualifying services.  The minimum amount, interim targets and definition of applicable services can be found in the ITC Code on Subtitling, Sign Language and Audio Description on Digital Terrestrial Television.

These notes provide guidance on standards for the production and presentation of audio description.  Audio description must of course comply with the requirements of the ITC Programme Code which covers the content of the programmes being described.  Otherwise these notes are presented in the form of guidelines only, with no absolute rules.  The ITC will in future review these guidelines in the light of experience gained with this new service.

Subtitling, Signing & Audio Description
Guidance on Standards for Audio Description

4. Joe Clark Media Access Standard techniques in audio description

Information on Audio Description Policy

1.  Association of Science - Technology Centers Incorporated

Has good information on Museum Audio Description. Discusses:
What Audio Description Is and Who Uses It
Equipment Needed 
Resources, Where to Get the Equipment You Need 
Informed Consumer Guide to Assistive Technology for People with Hearing Disabilities
History of Audio Description

ADI - Audio Description International

List of International AD Organizations and Services

Information on Descriptive Video


Katie Haritos-Shea,
Section 508 Technical Policy Analyst

CESSI Accessible Solutions
@ IMPACT Outreach Center
U.S. Department of State

CESSI Accessible Solutions
(CESSI = Cherry Engineering Support Services, Inc.)
6858 Old Dominion Drive
Suite #250
McLean, Virginia, USA


CESSI Voice: 703-448-6155 extension #452
CESSI Fax: 703-442-9015
Mobile: 703-371-5545

IMPACT Outreach Center
Room #2321
1800 "G" Street, NW,
Washington, DC, USA 

IMPACT Center Voice for Katie: 202-312-9763
IMPACT Center Main Number: 202-312-9760
IMPACT Center Fax: 202-312-9768

"The best and most beautiful things in the world
     cannot be seen or even touched.
    They must be felt with the heart."
                - Helen Keller 

"We come to love......
not by finding a perfect person...
but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly" 
                - S. Keen
Received on Thursday, 9 September 2004 20:01:21 UTC

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