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Is 1.2.3 underrated?

From: Bailey, Bruce <Bruce.Bailey@ed.gov>
Date: Thu, 15 Dec 2005 09:59:56 -0500
Message-ID: <CCDBDCBFA650F74AA88830D4BACDBAB50B2D4A6C@wdcrobe2m02.ed.gov>
To: "Guide Lines list" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>

I inferred from some of the messages recent bugzilla bug flurry that there is some confounding between broadcast multimedia and live video conferencing.  Has this been resolved?  I agree that current technology does not easily support live captions for two-way (or more) video conferencing.  Telecommunications are clearly beyond the scope of WCAG, even in this day and age of VOIP.

Section 508 cleverly makes the distinction between trivial video and "multimedia productions which support the agency's mission".  I am not sure what an equivalent to this would be for WCAG 2.0.

I do not understand the arbitrary level distinction made for requirements on captioning between live and pre-recorded multimedia.

(1)  Captioning is obviously essential for a minimum level of accessibility for a large audience.  This need is irrespective if the multimedia is live or pre-recorded.

(2)  The requirement for captioning impacts "the design of the content and presentation" for both live and pre-recorded multimedia, so that caveat does not explain the difference in levels.

(3)  WCAG 2.0 places new emphasis on strict claims of conformance, including date and explicit scope.  Any real-time event will clearly be after the date and beyond the stated scope; it is therefore incongruous for WCAG 2.0 to make reference to "live" delivery units.

(4)  There has been some discussion on level of effort needed for live captioning as compared to off-line work (via Magpie and the like).  I find these arguments less than compelling.  The required technology is well understood, affordable, readily available, and in wide use.

(4a) Live television broadcasts routinely include captioning.  Turn on any local (USA) news program. 

(4b) There are other names for the technique, but CART seems to be the most popular:

(4c) The requirement for captioning of live programs (using CART) *facilities* captioning of pre-recorded multimedia, since if one is required to provide it at the time of the event, one has the text for post-production editing.  Neglecting captioning at the time of the broadcast just adds one more barrier to captions for prerecorded multimedia.
Received on Thursday, 15 December 2005 15:00:08 UTC

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