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Re: Captioning and describing video for distance learning

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Mon, 6 Aug 2001 11:14:41 -0400 (EDT)
To: Jeff Hiles <jeffrey.hiles@wright.edu>
cc: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.30.0108061106380.14216-100000@tux.w3.org>
Well, if you are prepared to train students to the level of skilled
professionals they are bound to do a good job.

Seriously, captioning is mostly a matter of transcribing - taking dictation.
Students would have the advantage that they are likely to be familiar with
the material, and the disadvantage that they are not necessarily accurate
(plagiarism is normally discouraged, so the first thing many students learn
is paraphrasing, which is not always helpful here).

Not presenting the videos, assuming they are useful in the first place, is a
really silly idea. Distance education is hard enough as a student, and I
would simply choose another university very very fast if one I was at adopted
a policy like that.

Not using stuff that isn't captioned and described is a good policy,
especially if the university is prepared to provide funding to ensure that
the best stuff they can get that isn't yet captioned and described can become

There are a number of UNiversities in Australia doing distance education who
are looking at these issues, and I suspect a number in the US too. There is
also a fairly large market in educational content, so I suspect that as
accessibility of content becomes important to universities there is a
secondary market in captions and descriptions to go with it.

In Australia this faces almost every university (distance education is very
common), but each is a seperate organisation. Looking for the Disability
Liaison officers would be the way I would go about it (but I haven't looked
far into it so I might be wrong here) - they are the ones who will get the
complaints first.



On Mon, 6 Aug 2001, Jeff Hiles wrote:

  Our university faculty often want to use the same videos for their distance
  learning courses that they use in face-to-face classes. Our multimedia
  specialists can convert videos for streaming or CD-ROMs. They can even add
  tracks for captions and audio description. One thing we're trying to figure
  out, though, is how to get the captions and descriptions.

  The things I've read from the Caption Center and from Joe Clark lead me to
  believe that we need skilled professionals to describe and transcribe


  Unfortunately, people here seem to think we should teach students to do
  captions and audio descriptions. Other proposals include not allowing video
  for distance learning courses at all, or only allowing faculty to use videos
  that come captioned and described.

  Does anyone know of schools that have faced this issue squarely and that
  could serve as good examples for how to support accessibility for videos
  used in distance learning classes?

Charles McCathieNevile    http://www.w3.org/People/Charles  phone: +61 409 134 136
W3C Web Accessibility Initiative     http://www.w3.org/WAI    fax: +1 617 258 5999
Location: 21 Mitchell street FOOTSCRAY Vic 3011, Australia
(or W3C INRIA, Route des Lucioles, BP 93, 06902 Sophia Antipolis Cedex, France)
Received on Monday, 6 August 2001 11:14:41 UTC

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