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Comments on WCAG 2.0 Draft of May 2007

From: Martin Stehle <pewtah@snafu.de>
Date: Wed, 6 Jun 2007 19:51:53 +0200
Message-ID: <809214093.20070606195153@snafu.de>
To: public-comments-WCAG20@w3.org

Hello,

thank you for the mail. I agree with the solutions the Working Group
found. But I disagree with some solutions, let me explain my reasons:

> ----------------------------------------------------------
> Comment 3:

> Source: http://www.w3.org/mid/927584643.20060523115257@snafu.de
> (Issue ID: LC-591)

> Comment (including rationale for any proposed change):

> Reasons of why using sign language videos are wrong.

> Proposed Change:

> Replace it with: "The intent of this success criterion is to enable
> people who are deaf or hard of hearing and who are fluent in the sign
> language to understand whole texts. Many people, especially native
> signers, find it easier to follow sign language than to read the text,
> since the text are often a second language to them."

> ----------------------------
> Response from Working Group:
> ----------------------------

> The intent section for 1.2.5 has been revised to read:

> The intent of this success criterion is to enable people who are deaf
> or hard of hearing and who are fluent in a sign language to understand
> the content of the audio track of multimedia presentations. Written
> text, such as that found in captions, is often a second language. Some
> individuals will require sign language interpretation to gain full
> access to the multimedia content.

The last sentence ist not wrong, but uncompleted. It is not only to
gain full access to multimedia content, it is also to gain access to
whole texts. The home page, the articles, news, the blog entries etc.,
are texts. Many native signers do not misinterpretate sign language
videos, but written text. Not only in captions, but whole texts in
pages. This is a very important topic when it comes to web sites form
authorities, like government agencies, municipal authorities etc.

Till now the WCAG 2.0 draft let conclude: if there is multimedia
content, then one has to offer sign language videos. If there is no
multimedia content, one does not need to offer such videos. This is
the conclusion I find misleading.

So the emplyoment of sign language videos should not limited to to
existence of multimedia content only, but to whole texts. So this
should be a new "Guideline 1.5: "Provide content alternatives in sign
language". This guideline could be extended with "and
easy-to-understand language".

In Germany there are many web sites from the federal government and
lower authorities who included sign language videos to transform the
texts. Even a financial institute, Deutsche Bank, uses such videos:
http://www.bundesbank.de/aufgaben/aufgaben_dgs.php

This topic applies accordingly to Comment 7.


> ----------------------------------------------------------
> Comment 7:

> Source: http://www.w3.org/mid/927584643.20060523115257@snafu.de
> (Issue ID: LC-595)

> Comment (including rationale for any proposed change):

> The thesis "People whose primary language is a sign language sometimes
> have limited reading ability" is not always true. The reading ability
> of native signers is broad, from low to top. The focus on captions is
> not meeting the reality. Many native signers are able to understand
> captions. The focus has to move to the complete content, i.e. the
> texts.

> Proposed Change:

> Replace it with "These individuals may not be able to read and
> comprehend the textual contents and thus require a sign language
> interpretation to gain access to the multimedia content."

> ----------------------------
> Response from Working Group:
> ----------------------------

> We have adopted your recommendation  into the intent sections for SC
> 1.2.5 with a slight revision to indicate that this isn't true for all.
> It now reads as follows:

> 'The intent of this success criterion is to enable people who are deaf
> or hard of hearing and who are fluent in the sign language to
> understand the content of the audio track of multimedia presentations.
> Written text, such as that found in captions is often a second
> language to them. Some of these individuals may not be able to read
> and comprehend the textual content of captions or may not be able to
> read it quickly enough and thus require a sign language interpretation
> to gain access to the multimedia content.'


The next - and last - solution I disagree with is (in: "Techniques for
Addressing Success Criterion 3.1.5", reasons below):

> ----------------------------------------------------------
> Comment 9:

> Source: http://www.w3.org/mid/927584643.20060523115257@snafu.de
> (Issue ID: LC-597)

> Comment (including rationale for any proposed change):

> The note "Different sites may address...sufficient by the working
> group" is a little bit misleading in case of deaf people.

> Proposed Change:

> Please add to the note that in case of deaf people it is wrong to
> think about deaf people as human beings not able to understand "texts
> above upper secondary education level". It is not about cognitive
> impairments, it is about linguistic matters. It is just that many deaf
> people understand sign language better than written language, because
> sign language is their mother tongue. With sign language "texts above
> upper secondary education level" are more understandable for deaf
> people.

> ----------------------------
> Response from Working Group:
> ----------------------------

> Thanks you for your suggestion. We have replaced the sentence

> "For sites designed for people who are deaf a sign language version of
> the page may be most useful for users who cannot understand the text
> well."

> with the sentence

> "For some people who are deaf, a sign language version of the page may
> be easier to understand than a written language version since sign
> language may be their first language."

> ----------------------------------------------------------


This is ok. But I disagree with the sentence before: "But if a site is
intended for individuals who are deaf, providing an audio file would
not be useful." Please delete it, because no-where in the WCAG 2.0
documents there is phrase like "a site intended for individuals who
are blind" or "a site intended for individuals who has motor
impairments". A web site is intended for all users, and I think the
WCAG documents should transport this idea.


I thank you and the team very much for your and their efforts.

Kind Regards.
Martin Stehle
-- 
Martin Stehle
mailto:pewtah@snafu.de
Barrierefreiheit im Web
http://www.webaccessibility.de/
Received on Wednesday, 6 June 2007 18:02:34 UTC

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