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From: Mike Burks <mburks952@worldnet.att.net>
Date: Tue, 3 Mar 1998 17:11:39 -0500
To: "Cynthia D. Waddell" <Cynthia.Waddell@ci.sj.ca.us>, <w3c-wai-pf@w3.org>, <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <01bd46f1$56f1ed00$4340450c@mike-b>
These comments are in response to to Cynthia's comments about SMIL.

More and more I see the usefulness of both audio captioning and closed
captioning.  Not just for those with disabilities but for everyone.  As
Cynthia points out, these can be used by people who would like to choose
their mode, for whatever reason.  We all learn differently some people
prefer video to sound, or perhaps text.  For sure some people learn better
if they can use them all.
Universal Design will allow this.  Some last year I read an estimate that
650 million people will be accessing the web with hand held devices within
five years.  Well I don t think they will all be squinting to look at little
tiny pictures of the World Wide Web!  Microsoft wants to put computers in
cars.....I should hope the driver is using voice input, and audio readout
for what is on the screen.  I believe we will see more and more of this type
of thing, and we should be ready to point out the economic advantages.


Mike Burks

The opinions expressed above are my own and do not necessarily reflect those
of my employer.
-----Original Message-----
From: Cynthia D. Waddell <Cynthia.Waddell@ci.sj.ca.us>
To: w3c-wai-pf@w3.org <w3c-wai-pf@w3.org>; w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Date: Tuesday, March 03, 1998 2:34 PM
Subject: SMIL

>These comments are in response to the WAI-PF request for input on SMIL
>for accessibility.
>My perspective is both from the life experience as a person with a
>hearing loss and as an Americans with Disabilities Act compliance
>officer for the City of San Jose, California USA.
>As a person with hearing loss, captioning is essential for understanding
>the media being accessed.  I am particularly appreciative of
>descriptions that not only include speech but also the music and
>environmental sounds like "water running," "explosion," "knocking," "ice
>cream truck jingle in background," etc. Frequently, these indicators
>signal significant content "events."
>For example, I was amazed when I saw the television series "A Woman of
>Independent Means" and the captioning described the actual musical
>lyrics being played for background music.  I had no idea that the lyrics
>corresponded and supported the content of the dialogue being expressed.
>Other examples include television commercials.  As more and more
>television commercials include the captioning of the jingle, the
>advertisement itself has had more meaning to those of us with hearing
>loss and I too might then be interested in the product or service being
>As a professional who must ensure that people with disabilities have
>access to all City services, programs and facilities, and who mediates
>ADA cases for the US Department of Justice Keybridge Mediation Project,
>I am concerned that multimedia presentations reach the broadest range of
>people with disabilities.  Certain accessible features such as
>audio-description and textual description allow people who are blind to
>experience the message of the media environment.
>As the SMIL Draft acknowledges, there needs to be more information on
>the ability for the user to control the play process.  I would benefit
>from being able to freeze the captioning so that I can keep up with the
>text.  Same is true for those with cognitive and motor disabilities.
>A universal design platform that would enable the user to format a
>playback according to their preferences would be ideal.  Although my
>comments have referred to accessibility for people with disabilities,
>people in noisy environments might prefer the captioning as well as
>people whose eyes are busy might prefer audio.
>Lastly, I see heavy use of SMIL technology in the educational arena
>since it would enable access to multimedia presentations.  It then
>follows that government would also benefit from incorporating SMIL
>technology in our outreach and educational programs for neighborhood
>Cynthia D. Waddell
>ADA Coordinator
>City of San Jose
>801 North First Street, Room 460
>San Jose, California 95110-1704 USA
>(408) 277-4034
>(408) 971-0134 TTY
>(408) 277-3885 FAX
Received on Tuesday, 3 March 1998 17:16:53 UTC

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