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Re: Accessible online media players

From: Phill Jenkins <pjenkins@us.ibm.com>
Date: Mon, 24 Nov 2008 14:05:44 -0600
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Message-ID: <OFD3A77B74.1106DB4F-ON8625750B.006BE64B-8625750B.006E639E@us.ibm.com>
How do you expect users to separate the features of the assistive 
technology (AT) from the media player itself by asking them questions? 

Are you are going to do the separation of responsibilities and features in 
your recommendations?    End user familiarity with the AT always seems to 
play a big part in the evaluation.  And understanding the difference 
between easy to learn and easy to use plays a big part too.

Seems without a screen reader and magnifier you leave out most if not all 
of the blind and low vision users.  Having a person who is deaf & blind 
using a Braille display is another test for accessibility and can give you 
very different results for usability feedback.  For example, where the 
captions are displayed, and if they are compatible with the screen reader 
or magnifier technology is a first question for you the test designer. The 
visual display characteristics of the captions may not be important to a 
user who is blind, who is focused on getting access to what the screen 
reader can give.  But the visual display characteristics of the captions 
may make a big difference to the low vision user and/or the user who is 
sighted but deaf.  Having your magnifier be able to track the video, and 
ignore the captions, may be important to the low vision who can hear the 
audio track just fine. 

I think it is always wise to test first and separately for technical 
accessibility and compatibility with the AT before bringing in users. 
Otherwise, you end up with a bunch of end user feedback that you don't 
know what recommendations to make to resolve the issue. Sometime even a 
suggestion to change the underlying enablement standard is warranted. And 
don't forget to include users with learning and reading disabilities, such 
a dyslexia, many of whom do not use AT and want all the features of the 
multimedia turn on at the same time to improve comprehension.

Good Luck. 

Phill Jenkins, 
Received on Monday, 24 November 2008 20:06:25 UTC

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