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Re: Sign language video alternative

From: Christophe Strobbe <christophe.strobbe@esat.kuleuven.be>
Date: Mon, 20 Feb 2012 17:19:03 +0100
Message-Id: <>
To: "w3c-wai-ig@w3.org" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Hi Eric,

At 16:50 20-2-2012, Velleman, Eric wrote:
>Dear all,
>I have a short video where you just see a deaf person say something 
>in sign language. There is no sound and the background is a white 
>wall. There are no undertitles so I have no idea what he is saying. 
>Do I need captions and/or audiodescription?

I think you need at least:
(1) a text alternative that provides "descriptive identification of 
the non-text content" (SC 1.1.1, point 2);
(2) "Either an alternative for time-based media or an audio track is 
provided that presents equivalent information for prerecorded 
video-only content." (SC 1.2.1, point 2).
You can ignore the second requirement only if the "video is a media 
alternative for text and is clearly labeled as such" (SC 1.2.1).

Providing captions won't help blind users (I'm not aware of AT that 
can read out captions, especially open captions). Audiodescription 
(not required by SC 1.2.1) or another kind of audio track (one of the 
options in SC1.2.1) won't help deafblind users. So you would need to 
provide "correctly sequenced text descriptions" (see definition of 
"alternative for time-based media").

Best regards,


PS: How does a user know the video is really of a deaf person using 
sign language and not, e.g., a sighted user mimicking sign language? 
;-) What is the context of the video?

Christophe Strobbe
K.U.Leuven - Dept. of Electrical Engineering - SCD
Research Group on Document Architectures
Kasteelpark Arenberg 10 bus 2442
B-3001 Leuven-Heverlee
tel: +32 16 32 85 51
Twitter: @RabelaisA11y
Open source for accessibility: results from the AEGIS project 
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Received on Monday, 20 February 2012 16:19:38 UTC

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