Re: "Auditory" descriptions

At 06:37 AM 7/5/2001 , Al Gilman wrote:
>"Audio description" will be recognized by most people with
>some accessibility familiarity, and as Joe makes clear anything else will be
>considered "just wrong" by many of them.

Without "taking sides" on the "auditory" vs "audio" debate, I think it
would be good to get some other feedback on this issue than simply one

If there are two audiences here -- people with accessibility familiarity
and people without -- it's important to look at not only whether one
side would see it as "just wrong" but also -how- wrong that would be.

For example, let's imagine a scenario which might or might not be

* People who are familiar with the term "audio description" understand
   instantly what that means.

* People not already familiar with the term might have a problem --
   "is it a description of the audio? (i.e. a transcript) or is it
   verbal audio track describing the video?"  Is an "audio description"
   meant to benefit someone who can't hear, or someone who can't

* An "auditory description" might be easier for those people who don't
   know "audio description" to understand, because it is somewhat less

* In this scenario, the primary variable would be "how bad is it to
   use 'auditory description'?", for those users who know the term
   "audio description".

* Which of the following reactions would someone who understand "audio
   description" have when encountering "auditory description":

   1.  Mental equivalency of the two terms, even without thinking about
   2.  "Auditory description?  What the ****?  I have no idea what 
       means. *shrug*"
   3.  "Oh, those silly W3C people, using 'auditory' when they mean
       'audio'. *giggle*"
   4.  "Huh, weird, they're calling it 'auditory', not 'audio' -- I
       guess they're catering to a dumber audience than me."
   5.  "Gosh, my pet peeve meter is tweaked whenever I see that. Ha,
   6.  Unprintable outrage and unveiled scorn for the morons on the
       working group who printed such garbage.
   7.  Some other reaction.

My guess is that reactions #1 or maybe #4 are the most common.  However,
if the use of "auditory" instead of "audio" would provoke reactions
which lead to outright rejection of the documents in question, then
clearly this needs to be given higher weight.

Those are my thoughts and a sample hypothetical scenario.  I think
this is a case where we could use some more information on whether
or not this issue is as important as Mr. Clark states.


Kynn Bartlett <>
Technical Developer Liaison
Reef North America
Accessibility - W3C - Integrator Network
Tel +1 949-567-7006

Received on Thursday, 5 July 2001 12:01:36 UTC