[Accessibleweb] Test requested: Closed-captioned web videos

Terry Thompson tft at u.washington.edu
Thu May 27 08:38:20 PDT 2004


Wow, it's great to see so many captioned videos! This is a good example
of the benefits of universal design, as I find the captions beneficial
even as a hearing person. The narrator speaks pretty quickly (in a
Northeast accent) and there are lots of acronyms, so the captions help
me to better process what's being said.

My only critique is that as a general rule it's recommended that you use
only one or two lines for your caption text. Think short phrases or
sentences, rather than entire paragraphs. When you have more text than
that, the user has to devote their focus to reading, and can't really
watch what's happening in the video.
There are captioning standards that document these sorts of details:

As for accessibility for users with other disabilities, most of Real
Player's controls are accessible by keyboard and work well with screen
readers. Screen readers don't read the captions but they don't have to
as most screen reader users can hear the audio. The one barrier that is
sometimes present for people with visual impairments who are accessing a
multimedia presentation is when information is presented visually, but
not also communicated audibly. In these cases the video needs to be
"audio described", a process in which a voiceover briefly describes what
the non-visual user doesn't have access to. The voiceover is then
synchronized with the presentation in a separate audio track, so only
those who specifically turn it on in their media players can perceive
it. This too can be done with Magpie. That said, however, this doesn't
seem to be an issue for your videos (at least not in the 4-5 videos that
I sampled), as the narrator does a good job of describing what's
happening on the screen.

This is a nice site overall - excellent use of style sheets. Good job!


Terry Thompson
The University of Washington
Email: tft at u.washington.edu
Voice: 206-221-4168
TTY: 206-685-3648
Fax: 206-221-4171

>-----Original Message-----

>From: accessibleweb-bounces at mailman.u.washington.edu

>[mailto:accessibleweb-bounces at mailman.u.washington.edu] On

>Behalf Of Harry Love

>Sent: Wednesday, May 26, 2004 5:14 PM

>To: accessibleweb at u.washington.edu

>Subject: [Accessibleweb] Test requested: Closed-captioned web videos



>Greetings all,


>We have just completed a captioning project for one of our

>most used help sheets on HealthLinks: "PubMed at the UW." The

>URL is http://healthlinks.washington.edu/howto/pubmed/.


>We have several demonstration videos on this page that were

>created with Camtasia

>(http://www.techsmith.com/products/studio/). Using MAGPie

>(http://ncam.wgbh.org/webaccess/magpie/), we were able to add

>what we hope are accessible closed captions to these videos.


>Since we do not have access to relevant adaptive technology

>here at the library, we do not know for sure that these

>captions are truly accessible. Therefore, if you have time, we

>would greatly appreciate your assistance on two tasks:


>1) Please try to view a few of the videos as-is. A recent

>version of RealPlayer (http://www.real.com/) is required. The

>Windows OS is required.


>WHAT TO EXPECT: If you have never viewed a Camtasia video with

>RealPlayer before, expect RealPlayer to load the Camtasia

>plugin first. After the plugin has loaded, the video should

>load and begin playing.

>You should not see any captions. Each video contains an audio portion.


>WHAT WE HOPE WILL HAPPEN: RealPlayer should start, load the

>Camtasia plugin, and play the video with sound.


>PLEASE REPORT IF: RealPlayer fails to load the movie, or if

>the video area of the screen appears black when the movie is played.



>2) Play a video with captions turned on. To turn on captions

>in RealPlayer, go to: Tools > Preferences. In the category

>list, select "Content". Under Accessibility, check the box

>next to "Use supplemental text captioning when available."

>Select "OK", close RealPlayer, and then try to view one of the

>videos again.


>WHAT WE HOPE WILL HAPPEN: RealPlayer should start and begin

>playing the video with sound. There should be a caption area

>underneath the video area with text that is synchronized with

>the audio content.


>PLEASE REPORT IF: RealPlayer fails to play the movie, or if

>the captions

>do not appear.


>ADAPTIVE TECHNOLOGY: If you have access to a screen reader

>such as JAWS or Window-Eyes or a refreshable Braille display

>we would appreciate any feedback you can give us about the

>accessibility of the videos when accessed through those products.


>If you have any other suggestions about how we might improve

>the usability and/or accessibility of the videos, please send

>me your feedback.


>Thank you very much for your help!



>Harry Love



>Education Technology Specialist

>Health Sciences Libraries

>University of Washington

>Seattle, WA 98195-7155



>Accessibleweb mailing list

>Accessibleweb at u.washington.edu



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