Thread Subject: Re: user-interface accessibility for A/V
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From: Truesdell Nick
Date: Wed, Feb 28 2007 7:55 AM
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I think the issue here is that a cable box is a closed system in that
one cannot attach an assistive technology to it. To that end it will be
necessary to emphasize, either as a standard, or sufficient technique,
or other device the committee chooses to go with, that the device will
not only have to expose the information (as is one of the main ideas in
the current software provisions) but also render that information to the
Information Technology Accessibility Center - ITAC
Information Resources Accessibility Program - IRAP
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[mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ] On Behalf Of Jim Tobias
Sent: Tuesday, February 27, 2007 9:37 AM
To: 'TEITAC Audio/Video Subcommittee'
Cc: 'Peterson, Bill'
Subject: Re: [teitac-video] user-interface accessibility for A/V
Allen Hoffman wrote:
"While the software group does have standards for user-interfaces, I
believe that unless clearly stated in standards, multimedia, A/V, or
such developers won't look there regularly, so it won't get applied
well. For example:
When multimedia content includes user-selectable options, those
user-interfaces shall meet (insert standards from software), would be a
good start. However, since most of the items covered operate on close
systems, we might need to reference standards there as well, such that
it is clear that the accessibility needs to be built-in not left to the
AT which can't regularly be attached."
I think you've got a great idea here. To the extent that an A/V system,
be it a cable box or a DVD player, is based in software, then its
interface should meet the software requirements. I think this
establishes a level playing field, since video controls on websites or
software applications would have to meet those same requirements. We
have had parallel conversations in the Telecom subcommittee, for telecom
products and services that are software based.
Regarding "closed systems", I think we're going to see a change in cable
boxes at least. The FCC has moved to create something of an open market
in cable boxes. That is, you will not be limited to using the box
offered by your cable company. This may mean that, just as open
computer architectures allowed for competing software, open cable box
architectures may lead to a flowering of alternate interfaces. Could
some of those interfaces emphasize usability and accessibility? Let's
hope so. What do the experts think?
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