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IBM's latest accessibility venture

Derek Featherstone

March 19, 2007 at 9:44 AM

Interesting news from IBM - they have created a tool that helps users with screen readers better control over multimedia clips like those found on Youtube and MySpace. Typical problems with multimedia content include controls (play, pause, stop, volume) that may not be accessible via keyboard or may not be in a logical order. Some video and audio files that are set to autoplay interfere with screen readers. Sometimes the original audio isn't enough, so a descriptive audio track can be used where the clip is "narrated" alongside the original audio to describe what is happening onscreen

Based on the description of the tool, what intrigues me the most is that the tool seems to remove at least some of the burden of "doing it right" from the developer. That is pure conjecture, of course, but we won't know until it is released this week (possibly as open source).

IBM tool 'reads' Web video for blind

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