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Re: Audio formats

From: David Poehlman <poehlman1@comcast.net>
Date: Fri, 07 Feb 2003 13:27:54 -0500
To: "Webmaster@EDD (by way of Judy Brewer <jbrewer@w3.org>)" <web@edd.ca.gov>, WAI Interest Group <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-id: <001a01c2ced6$a3bd98b0$6501a8c0@handsontech>

there is no way to do it and if there is, you still have to go to all the
trouble of marking the pages up correctly for those who for one reason or
another will not be able to access the audio whether it be a hearing issue
or a platform issue.  If I need audio for my work or play or learning, I am
going to have it because it does much more than read web pages so I don't
need a web to tell it to me.  I need a web to provide it to me in a way that
I can use and interact with it.  I have never seen an effective means of
providing audio in this way although I have seen it done in some training
senarios.  Remember, to be effective, it must be something that I can get to
and if I need audio to get to it, it does not need to be audio.  If I don't
have audio, I cannot get to it if I need audio so I cannot use it unless
someone takes me there.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Webmaster@EDD (by way of Judy Brewer <jbrewer@w3.org>)"
To: "WAI Interest Group" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Sent: Friday, February 07, 2003 1:04 PM
Subject: Audio formats

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 13:28:43 UTC

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