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Re: Audio Descriptions for Talking Heads

From: Gregg Vanderheiden <gv@trace.wisc.edu>
Date: Fri, 24 Jun 2011 09:42:51 -0500
To: David MacDonald <david100@sympatico.ca>
Cc: "'Bailey, Bruce'" <Bailey@Access-Board.gov>, 'Scott Hollier' <Scott.Hollier@mediaaccess.org.au>, 'WCAG' <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-id: <64B98E4A-84D5-488D-898E-01F9488FDA47@trace.wisc.edu>
I would include a note however that says this does NOT apply to a situation where there are multiple speakers and the speakers are identified on screen with visual text as they speak. 

Gregg Vanderheiden Ph.D.
Director Trace R&D Center
Professor Industrial & Systems Engineering
and Biomedical Engineering
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Co-Director, Raising the Floor - International
and the Global Public Inclusive Infrastructure Project
http://Raisingthefloor.org   ---   http://GPII.net

On Jun 24, 2011, at 9:30 AM, David MacDonald wrote:

> Sounds like a good sufficient technique suggestion, 
> How about a general technique which I'll submit... something like this:
> Gxx: Using a static text alternative to describe a "talking head" video.
> Description:
> The purpose of this technique is to provide an alternative to synchronized
> media that has no time based important information contained in the video
> portion of the media. Such is the case in a "talking head" video where a
> person is talking in front of an unchanging background, such as a press
> conference, company or Government announcement, etc... In this case there
> are no "important visual details" which require Audio Description. A static
> text alternative giving a general description of the context of the
> environment and any opening/closing credits, and perhaps text at the bottom
> of the video with the name of the speaker, that is not be heard in the
> audio, but seen on the screen. 
> Audio Descriptions are not necessary when there is one person speaking
> against a static background, because there is no timed based visual
> information in the video that is "important" to the understanding of the
> content. The environment is static and therefore can be described in a non
> multimedia static format such as alternative text that is programmatically
> associated with the video. 
> Example 1
> A video of a CEO speaking to shareholders from his office has a title page
> opening the video giving the date, and when the speaker begins, there is a
> strip of text at the bottom of the video saying "John Doe, President of XYZ
> Cooperation". There is a paragraph below the video which is associated with
> the video file using aria-describedby which says: "July 22, 2011, John Doe,
> President of XYZ cooperation, speaking from his office"
> -----Original Message-----
> From: w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org] On Behalf
> Of Bailey, Bruce
> Sent: June-24-11 9:41 AM
> To: David MacDonald
> Cc: Scott Hollier; WCAG
> Subject: RE: Audio Descriptions for Talking Heads
>> So you are requiring Audio Description of a talking head... the
> opening/closing credits, and the name and title of the person speaking?
> First, just to be pedantic, I would recommend fastidiously avoiding
> capitalizing the term "audio description" unless you are purposely
> referring to DVDs and broadcast television where the descriptive
> narration is on a secondary audio track.  Second, the "you are
> requiring" phrasing of your question also makes me anxious as the Access
> Board does not enforce 508.  Now that I have my disclaimers out of the
> way, let me respond substantively!
> Typically, a person sends me a URL and asks if I think the video
> conforms to 508.  For talking head videos, often the only thing missing
> is narration at the beginning and end.
>> Why can't those be put in static text alternatives, given that they
> are not time based (unless the speaker changes)? ...  but I think a
> static alternative should be sufficient, no?
> Yes, some agencies will choose to remediate existing content by adding
> content to "a static alternative" (as you call it), usually a paragraph
> which is already associated with the video.  I think one could make a
> very credible case that this practice conforms to WCAG 2.0.  If so, we
> probably need a Sufficient Technique to this effect.
>> The problem is not the *amount* of AD required, if even one word is
> required it's almost as hard as if there is a lot of it.
> Understood.  Most often my advice is in the context of advising
> government 508 coordinators what they should be telling their media
> folks.  The media folks have no idea how to add Audio Descriptions (big
> AD) but adding a voice over for the opening title they easily
> understand.
>> it is getting into a studio (or buying an expensive software package
> that's the big investment)... even if it's just to announce a title...
> it might be easier in the future
> As is often the case, accessibility can be trivial when considered early
> in the process, but difficult and expensive after the fact!
Received on Friday, 24 June 2011 14:43:36 UTC

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