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Re: Practice Describing Pictures, anyone game?

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 11 Nov 1999 21:52:09 -0500 (EST)
To: Bruce Bailey <bbailey@clark.net>
cc: Kynn Bartlett <kynn@idyllmtn.com>, w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.20.9911112145010.26215-100000@tux.w3.org>
If you go to an Art Gallery exhibition you can look at pictures. At many
galleries you can also get an audio "guided tour" (usually just a cassette
tape, but sometimes a real and knowledgeable person). And many exhibitions
also have a catalogue, which has pictures of the pictures, and an awful lot
of words about the pictures.

I think there is a message in that somewhere. I guess it is the same as the
one Bruce is describing - Universal access is often surprisingly useful to
the people who could survive without it, despite the fact tht it is critical 
to only a few people (and a particular aspect may equally be completely
unusable for an equal number of people - an audio description helps
people who cannot see just as much as it excludes people who cannot hear. The
goal is to provide the redundancy to cater for both groups, and the benefit
spreads to many people in neither group.

Charles McCN

On Thu, 11 Nov 1999, Bruce Bailey wrote:

  How academic an exercise do you want this be?  Most descriptions I have come
  across (which includes the CAM stuff) is very short and functional -- this
  include descriptive video.  Now, a static web page does not have real time
  constraints, but aren't most of your friends and colleagues (including those
  who happen to have vision impairments) interested in why YOU took a
  particular photo, who is in it, and what were your impressions at the time?
  Seems to me, only the photographer can answer these questions!
  Take a look at the ultrasounds I posted for MY friends and relatives.  I got
  good feedback from my friends who are blind, and much to my surprise (I
  should have predicted this, but I didn't), family who were sighted liked the
  descriptions too!  (They appreciate the help with knowing what they were
  looking at.)  I latter learned that most people did not realize that the
  ONLY reason I bothered with descriptions (of course I would have included
  ALT text) was for the benefit of my blind friends!  (This also proved to me
  that _I_ am still learning lessons about the importance of universal
  access.)  Photos can be found at URL:
  A picture may be worth a thousand words, but sometimes it is nice if someone
  tells you -- Just what the Hell is that?
  -- Bruce Bailey
  Kynn Bartlett wrote:
  > Accurately describing picture content is necessary for accessibility
  > considerations, especially LONGDESC/D-Link.  However, giving good
  > and useful picture descriptions is not as easy as it sounds; there
  > is a certain art to it, and you can improve with practice.
  > I recently went on a trip to Rome to speak at the E-Commerce
  > Summit (http://www.e-commerce-summit.com/) and the day before
  > the summit started, I went on a commercial tour of Rome and took
  > many pictures of what I was seeing.  I would like to make these
  > available on the web, and, as a practice exercise, I'd like to see
  > if anyone (who can see my pictures) would be interested in helping
  > to describe these pictures or at least evaluating the descriptions
  > that I or someone else has provided.

--Charles McCathieNevile            mailto:charles@w3.org
phone: +1 617 258 0992   http://www.w3.org/People/Charles
W3C Web Accessibility Initiative    http://www.w3.org/WAI
MIT/LCS  -  545 Technology sq., Cambridge MA, 02139,  USA
Received on Thursday, 11 November 1999 21:52:15 UTC

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