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Re: Captions and audio descriptions

From: Roberto Ellero <rellero@webaccessibile.org>
Date: Tue, 8 Nov 2005 21:26:58 +0100
Message-ID: <000d01c5e4a2$c7153d60$0200a8c0@acerre>
To: <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>

Loretta Guarino Reid:

Ah, now I understand your concern. I agree that there needs to be only a
single file that is the equivalent of the multimedia. If we provide
suitable examples and sufficient techniques, is the following rewording
correct?
<new proposal>
At level 1:
1. For prerecorded multimedia, one of the following is provided:
* captions, or
* a text alternative that conveys the same information as the
multimedia.

2. For prerecorded multimedia, one of the following is provided:
* audio descriptions, or
* a text alternative that conveys the same information as the
multimedia.
[...]



Roberto Ellero:

In my opinion, to evaluate this solution for L1 prerecorded multimedia, we
have to consider the real experience of the blind and deaf users.

A very simple example: a short excerpt from Shakespeare's Richard III, Act
I, Scene 2.

We have a video track and a sound track.

The scenario is the following text:

---------------------------

RICHARD
The self-same name, but one of
better nature.

ANNE
Where is he?

RICHARD
Here.

(She spits at him)

Why dost thou spit at me?

ANNE
Would it were mortal poison, for
thy sake!

RICHARD
Never came poison from so sweet a
place.

---------------------------

In this MP3 file you listen to the jaws' synthesis of the text (= text
alternative that convey the same information as the multimedia):

http://www.robertoellero.it/jaws_richard.mp3

Otherwise it is possible to put as text alternative (same function of
synch. audio description) the only original caption, "(She spits at him)",
but obviously it is not easy to understand the exact
position of it, while listening to the original sound track.

Very frustrating experience.

In this MP3 file you listen to the original sound track with the audio
caption added with MAGpie (= audio description synchronized):

http://www.robertoellero.it/richard_soundtracks.mp3

I think the first file (text alternative) is a good solution for 1.1, not
for 1.2 ("requirements for
*synchronized* alternatives for multimedia").

So the solution for prerecorded multimedia, in my opinion, is both the
following is provided:
audio descriptions (continuous equivalent) *and* text alternative that
convey the same information as the multimedia.

The same for deaf people, but notice that what is lost in the first MP3  -
for a blind user - is intonation, nuances, expressivity, rhythm, and what is
lost in a not synchronized text alternative
(instead of captioning) - for a deaf user - is the impossibility to
associate the captions with what is happening in the video track.

(Accessibility Features of SMIL, W3C NOTE 21 September 1999)
http://www.w3.org/TR/SMIL-access/
"A presentation may occupy multiple sensory channels (eyes, ears, and touch)
in parallel. Any content, including alternative content, that is presented
to a given sense must be coordinated to ensure
that it remains intelligible when rendered with other content meant for that
sense. [...] This does not mean creating a
great number of separate presentations but rather one integrated and
accessible presentation."

As I've already said, I think the better solution is to maintain captions
and audio descriptions to L1.

Best regards,
Roberto Ellero
Received on Tuesday, 8 November 2005 20:27:09 GMT

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