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Re: Alt is not a description (was Re: when to use longdesc for images)

From: david poehlman <david.poehlman@handsontechnologeyes.com>
Date: Tue, 21 Dec 2004 09:51:48 -0500
Message-ID: <009301c4e76d$45547170$6401a8c0@DAVIDPC>
To: "John Colby" <John.Colby@uce.ac.uk>, "Lonie Watson" <lw@nomensa.com>, <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>

This problem is solved in two venues.

1> the national library service for the blind and physically handicapped at:
and similar fascilities such as perhaps rnib and afb have guidelines for 
producing audio tape from text in terms of how to deal with many "visual" 

My experience with audio description is to provide the information and allow 
the reciever of that information do as much enterpretation as possible 
unless the information is not clear enough to stand alone so for instance, 
instead of saying "a woman picks up a gun" or "the woman picks up a gun" you 
might need to name the woman if the statements would be to ambiguous in and 
of themselves.

Johnnie Apple Seed

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "John Colby" <John.Colby@uce.ac.uk>
To: "Lonie Watson" <lw@nomensa.com>; "John Colby" <John.Colby@uce.ac.uk>; 
Sent: Tuesday, December 21, 2004 9:37 AM
Subject: RE: Alt is not a description (was Re: when to use longdesc for 

John Colby wrote:-
    "Is this not the purpose of background images in CSS? Enhancing the
looks of the page whilst not adding to the content?"

    It is the purpose. But that said, it is to a degree exclusionary.

    As with most things there is a balance to be sought. In this case
between permitting a visually impaired person to join in the emotive aspects
of some imagery, and not cluttering the auditory experience with too much


I am coming across this problem when trying to describe the pervading ochre 
colour of a mineral processing plant (this for a audio-description for a 
video).  I have received the following advice from colleagues

"My take would be to name the colour, and describe it in terms of its 
richness, vividness, and similarity to  . . , and explain the cause of that 
colour (oxide etc). You are obviously trying to get across that itâ?Ts an 
unusual colour, so say that, and maybe say what is the more usual colour. 
But overall I would not labour it too much." (RC)

"some things are just not possible. I always remember a former manager of 
mine (who was completely, profoundly deaf from birth) saying that music was 
an alien concept to him. He used to ask me what it was like but the only 
thing I could do was tell him how it made me feel. Seeing as certain colours 
are meant to provoke certain responses (eg, green = peaceful), perhaps 
that's the only way you can describe them - but as you say, it could never 
be fully appreciated." (EN)

Both of these are people are good friends and give me mountains of advice - 
and both are involved with disability. As LĂ©onie.says - it is a balance.And 
I feel that this balance can only be struck with experience and 
experimentation. However some guidelines would be good - if anyone were 
brave enught to try to write them :)

Received on Tuesday, 21 December 2004 14:57:08 UTC

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