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Audio formats

From: <Webmaster@EDD>
Date: Fri, 07 Feb 2003 13:04:25 -0500
Message-Id: <>
To: WAI Interest Group <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>

I have questions related to the presentation of audio files (.mpg, .wav,
etc) as an assistive technology for the visually impaired user.  Does anyone
have experience using audio files with respect to improving accessibility
for the visually impaired community?

My department is working on ways to increase accessibility of our web
content.  My advice has stressed the importance of document formatting and
tagging that will ensure navigability/usability in conjunction with screen
reader browsing software.  I never considered audio files to be a
particularly effective format for improving accessibility of content for the
visually impaired user.

One program are would like to deploy audio versions of their departmental
forms and manuals (some of which are 50+ pages in length), with the
rationale that visually impaired users can then "listen" to the forms.  I
don't consider this to be an effective use of audio technology, however I
have also never seen it used in that way.

I'm curious to know whether or not others have found a way to use audio
effectively in the context described.


Sean Blackburn
State of California
Employment Development Department
800 Capitol Mall, MIC 79-5, Sacramento, CA 95814-7735 
Received on Friday, 7 February 2003 13:04:22 UTC

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