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RE: Web video accessibility

From: EmbedPlus <ext@embedplus.com>
Date: Tue, 16 Aug 2011 18:55:20 -0400
To: <accessys@smart.net>, "John Foliot" <jfoliot@stanford.edu>
CC: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <4e069c9f$22ed0db3$5b046802$@com>
Thanks for bringing this to light John. I have been a bit confused by the 
responses I was getting until Cliff offered his feedback.  

Bob, I'm again confused by your recent emails. Particularly the following 
three statements:   

1) "when all I get when I try to use it is them saying how great it works, 
but nothing works." 

2) "when folks say things are 'accessible' when in fact the accessibility 
is limited."

3) "if it was advertised as doing X,Y,& Z and not everything then I 
wouldn't have said anything."

I think there a couple of things that you can do to help you understand 
what is going on, and to help us better understand your critique.  

1) Read the original email I posted on this list. Here's the text: 
We've been getting lots of feedback regarding the accessibility benefits of 
some of these features like movable zoom, slow motion, and even third-party 
annotations. As the tool continues to grow in popularity, the importance of 
its accessibility rises. I decided to do some research and found the WAI 
Interest Group to be a major proponent of accessibility on the web.  If 
anyone has time to take a look at EmbedPlus and share feedback that could 
help improve the tool, please do.
2) Please look at the EmbedPlus site with a conventional browser so you can 
see what's actually there.

After that, you can see that in no way was I claiming that the product was 
some pillar of video accessibility.  The truth is that we got comments from 
past users about some features and how they helped.  The only thing that I 
"advertised" in the original email were those three features, which do work 
within the platforms that we as non-accessibility experts know. You'll also 
see I clearly said it was in need of improvement hence my coming here. 
Finally, where are these ads that you mentioned seeing?


From: accessys@smart.net
Sent: Tuesday, August 16, 2011 4:11 PM
To: "John Foliot" <jfoliot@stanford.edu>
Subject: RE: Web video accessibility 

was not trying to embarass anyone but it does bother me when folks say 
things are "accessible" when in fact the accessibility is limited.  I 
would have been thrilled and have told them so if the you tube video had 
played with a discription.

and don't get me wrong I have praised those who do it so all can use.

"propaganda" may have been a bit strong but when all I get when I try to 
use it is them saying how great it works, but nothing works.

if it was advertised as doing X,Y,& Z and not everything then I probably 
wouldn't have said anything.

and open source is critical and becoming more so with everyone trying to 
exclude everyone else.  I test using a basic system that a person with 
little or no money might use (remember 70% of people with disabilities 
live below the poverty level.) testing can't just be for the latest and 
greatest and most modern equipment because that isn't what most people 

maybe I'm wrong but when someone asks for a test I assume they want to 
know what works and doesn't work, lots of you guys will test the high end 
but only a couple of us will test from the average.  I use a special 
detuned if you will setup to test and it is a basic package that is 
avaliable at little or no cost to anyone and can run on an older computer.

I mean no harm to EmbedPlus they are trying but a little "truth in 
advertising" would have helped.   so far there isn't a single product out 
there that will provide a full range of access to everyone, so stating 
what it will do and what it won't is important.

personally the internet was far more accessible 25years ago than it is 
today, but it was very limited, all of the bells and whistles that makes 
the web so enticing to so many also has a disadvantage of excluding many.

isn't it our mission to make sure that the web excludes no one, for as 
soon as we exclude one we open the door to exclude all.

crawling down off soapbox and back into hole

On Tue, 16 Aug 2011, John Foliot wrote:

> Date: Tue, 16 Aug 2011 12:44:28 -0700 (PDT)
> From: John Foliot 
> To: accessys@smart.net, 'EmbedPlus' 
> Cc: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
> Subject: RE: Web video accessibility
> Resent-Date: Tue, 16 Aug 2011 19:45:08 +0000
> Resent-From: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
> accessys@smart.net wrote:
>> the test view was
>> linux Ubuntu 8.4 and the browser was lynx
>> and the propaganda was all the stuff saying how great Embed was.
>> actually I didn't expect it to work, how do you get a basically video
>> format to work in an audio/text system of viewing.
>> Bob
> Bob,
> Can you tell us what the point was that you were trying to make, 
> Your appreciation of, and for, open-source software such as linux and 
> is well known, but in all honesty you put the folks at EmbedPlus through 
> minor "panic" when you said that their system didn't work.
> We all know that video cannot be played in lynx - and you certainly knew
> that. What was the point?
> As for "propaganda" - it is a site that is promoting their tool: one 
> they have come forward with, with a certain sense of "purity of heart" -
> the developers want to do the right thing and are asking if they are 
> in the right direction. They came to the "experts" for feedback and
> comments, not to be made fun of or used as some kind of pawn in your own
> personal mission. Cliff Tyllick's response is the kind of useful 
> they sought, and serves as an example of how we all should be 
> with those that come to the accessibility space: open, welcoming and
> willing to help, guide and instruct.
> Using language such as "propaganda" and sending the EmbedPlus developers
> on a wild goose-chase does very little to offer encouragement to the
> larger development community, and simply perpetuates the notion that
> "those accessibility people" can't be satisfied no matter how hard 
> try.
> I for one am embarrassed that you chose to respond the way you did, and
> hope that the folks at EmbedPlus will not use your response as a measure
> of how the majority of the online accessibility community interacts with
> developers.
> JF
> ============================
> John  Foliot
> Program Manager
> Stanford Online Accessibility Program
> http://soap.stanford.edu
> Stanford University
> Tel: 650-468-5785
> ---
> Co-chair - W3C HTML5 Accessibility Task Force (Media)
> http://www.w3.org/WAI/PF/HTML/wiki/Main_Page
> ============================

Received on Tuesday, 16 August 2011 22:56:15 UTC

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