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Re: Accessibility of <audio> and <video>

From: Jim Jewett <jimjjewett@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 14 Oct 2008 11:22:41 -0400
Message-ID: <fb6fbf560810140822o852fd4bx1c14d9d2c185a8c4@mail.gmail.com>
To: "Ian Hickson" <ian@hixie.ch>
Cc: "HTML WG" <public-html@w3.org>

On Mon, Oct 13, 2008 at 8:55 PM, Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch> wrote:
> ... <video> and <audio> to be simply windows onto
> pre-existing content ...

[Which is not always accessible]

> You should ...

> ... video formats already have to deal with this.

[But individual videos do not need to take advantage of the opportunity]

> ... accessibility features and metadata features must be within the video or
> audio resource, and not in the HTML markup.

That is sort of like saying people should use valid XML, and we
wouldn't need all the complicated legacy parsing rules.

In an ideal world, the accessibility features would be in the video.

In the real world, often they aren't.

The page creator may not be able to modify the audio or video.
Sometimes this is a matter of not having the video (embedded 3rd party
videos) or not having legal authority; sometimes it is just a matter
of not knowing how.

By all means encourage authors to put the accessibility information
within the video.  But there needs to be a fallback for cases where
that doesn't happen.

FWIW, this is probably a good example of why some accessibility folk
get so heated:

Everyone agrees that valid markup is best -- but it is settled that
HTML5 browsers will not require it.

Everyone agrees that valid SVG is best, but there were long
discussions about which requirements to ignore, in favor of the HTML
leniency -- even though existing content does not require it.

Everyone agrees that embedding accessibility information in the
original is best -- but existing content does not always do this.  So
why is accessibility the only case where the standard suggests "tough
-- do it right or not at all"?

Received on Tuesday, 14 October 2008 15:23:18 UTC

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