[whatwg] Thoughts on video accessibility

Silvia Pfeiffer silviapfeiffer1 at gmail.com
Tue Dec 9 12:25:19 PST 2008

On Wed, Dec 10, 2008 at 6:59 AM, Calogero Alex Baldacchino
<alex.baldacchino at email.it> wrote:
> Anyway, the use of subtitles in conjunction with screen readers might be
> problematic: a deeper synchronization with the media might be needed in
> order to have the text read just during voice pauses, to describe a mute
> scene, or to entirely substitute the sound, if the text provides a
> translation for the speech (I guess such would be untrivial to do without
> putting one's hands inside the media).

I cannot see a problem with conflicts between screen reading a web
page and a video on the web page. A blind user would have turned off
the use of captions by default in his/her browser, since they can hear
very well what is going on, just not see it. As long as the video is
not playing, it is only represented as a video (and maybe a alt text
is read out). When the blind user clicks on the video, audio
annotations will be read out by the screen reader in addition to the
native sound. These would be placed into silence segments.

In the case of a video with a non-native language sound track, it's a
bit more complicated. The native sound would need to be turned off and
the screenreader would need to read out the subtitles in the user's
native language as well as the audio annotations in the breaks. This
many not be easy to set up through preferences in the Web browser, but
it should be possible for the user to manually select the right tracks
and turn off the video sound.


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