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Re: Argument against open captioning


From: Tim Harshbarger
Date: Aug 28, 2001 5:39AM

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<TITLE>RE: Argument against open captioning</TITLE>
<P><FONT SIZE=2>One of the comments in this thread reminds me of some questions I find myself struggling with as I work with our developers.</FONT></P>
<P><FONT SIZE=2>This is a liberal paraphrase sprinkled with similar comments I have read other places. -- The user with a disability should be expected to know how to use the accessibility features of his/her browser, plug-ins, and/or assistive technologies.&nbsp; </FONT></P>
<P><FONT SIZE=2>I find myself asking questions like...should the person be expected to know all the accessibility features available?&nbsp; If not all, which ones?&nbsp; Should there even be an expectation?&nbsp; </FONT></P>
<P><FONT SIZE=2>On the one hand, if I can establish a minimal set of skills/knowledge to be expected of the user, I can more precisely define the minimal requirements for making a site accessible.&nbsp; In fact, it would make site design and testing easier to accomplish.</FONT></P>
<P><FONT SIZE=2>On the other hand, I am wary of setting those expectations since they are likely to be based on my own bias as to what the user should know, not what users are likely to know.&nbsp; The fact is for those people who do not meet those skill/knowledge levels, the site designed will be inaccessible.&nbsp; </FONT></P>
<P><FONT SIZE=2>Relating this back to the subject heading, my feeling is that there may be many people who are deaf or hard of hearing that are completely unaware of the option which will turn captioning on or off.&nbsp; If I were training these people how to access the internet, I would expect them to learn how to use this feature.&nbsp; As a designer, I am hesitant about making that an expectation of my design.&nbsp; </FONT></P>

<FONT SIZE=2>Tim Harshbarger</FONT>

<FONT SIZE=2>Disability Support </FONT>

<FONT SIZE=2>State Farm Insurance Companies</FONT>


<FONT SIZE=2>Phone&nbsp; 309-766-0154</FONT>