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User-generated & multi-media content - challenges and opportunities for accessibility Jonathan Hassell Head of Audience Experience and Usability BBC UX&D.

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Presentation on theme: "User-generated & multi-media content - challenges and opportunities for accessibility Jonathan Hassell Head of Audience Experience and Usability BBC UX&D."— Presentation transcript:

1 User-generated & multi-media content - challenges and opportunities for accessibility Jonathan Hassell Head of Audience Experience and Usability BBC UX&D AbilityNet Accessibility 2.0 conference 25 th April 2008

2 Slide 2 What I’m going to talk about… BBC & accessibility – some history Why web 2.0 changes the rules for accessibility… UGC – responsibility and creation Multimedia - opportunities and threats Beyond Inclusion – inspirational future thinking

3 Slide 3 BBC & accessibility – a brief history BBC long-term commitment to making its output as accessible as possible to all audiences to fulfil its public service remit Three themes: inclusion, personalisation, and beyond inclusion TV/radio: body of experience within the BBC of disability issues –TV accessibility – subtitles, signing, audio-description [inclusion] –established programmes and audiences (e.g. See Hear, In Touch), moving towards mainstream (Desperados) [beyond inclusion] Online: 1998: Betsie – tool for creating text-only personalised web pages (still used by other sites - e.g. Newcastle City Council) 2002: –created bbc.co.uk accessibility training course (with AbilityNet) and set accessibility standards & guidelines for BBC websites [inclusion] –BBC disability website – Ouch! – created [beyond inclusion] 2005-6: –created BIMA award winning My Web, My Way accessibility help site to help users understand how to customise their computers (with AbilityNet) [beyond inclusion] –helped write PAS-78 accessibility commissioning guidelines with BSI 2006-8: Huge amount of work on web 2.0 accessibility –advising and usability-testing core products with disabled people e.g. iPlayer, BBC homepage etc. [inclusion] –personalisation leaps ahead with ATK –researching groundbreaking accessible games on BBC jam [beyond inclusion]

4 Slide 4 Recent example - new BBC Homepage An example of inclusion and personalisation coming together to make an accessible ‘web 2.0’ homepage “… a lot of sites look up to the BBC for guidance and inspiration. To see such an important, highly trafficked and well respected site come out with a valid, accessible home page shows everyone that it can be done.” Source: unintentionallyblank.co.uk “…let’s talk about the outrageously AWESOME stuff first. The Beeb has included accessibility options on the beta home page – users can choose between eight different viewing formats to help them read the website…” Source: enable-usability.com Complexity of accessibility in practice – JavaScript often seen as accessibility problem, here was a solution…

5 Slide 5 Accessibility 2.0 & UGC AbilityNet have already illuminated the many problems which face disabled people getting into social networking sites… unfortunately that’s only the start of the accessibility challenge… what happens when they get to the content? the site owners used to be the people who created this increasingly now it’s their users creating the content how is this going to change things? well, this used to be my main “accessibility evangelism” slide – how it used to be…

6 Slide 6 Accessibility is a partnership to make a website accessible, all of the following need to work together:  Website creators  Assistive technology creators (e.g. Freedom Scientific, ReadPlease)  Operating system creators (e.g. Microsoft, Apple)  Disability assessment agencies (e.g. AbilityNet, RNIB)  Browser creators (e.g. Microsoft, Opera)  comms via W3C-WAI…

7 Slide 7 Accessibility 2.0 & UGC - responsibility because of the DDA, the accessibility community has had many successes persuading site owners to make their content accessible...

8 Slide 8 but how do you persuade the everyday users of Blogs, MySpace, Bebo, or YouTube to make their content accessible? Accessibility 2.0 & UGC - responsibility

9 Slide 9 we’d all agree UGC is important… blogs have been identified as changing election results (US 2004-6) and many sites have a “have your say… now with imaging…” AbilityNet have an accessibility channel on YouTube the BBC has just bought an island in virtual community Second Life Accessibility 2.0 & UGC - responsibility

10 Slide 10 if disabled users need ‘accessibility support’ in content, how do we enable this? split in responsibility between the tools and the moderation responsibility of the site: the tools to enable it… does the content building tool include a mechanism for enabling users to include accessibility support? link with the lesser-known WAI-ATAG guidelines quick example of current state of play: quick survey of simple “site builders” (Sept-07) – only 1 in 4 of the sites I tried allowed me to add alt-text to images Accessibility 2.0 & UGC - responsibility

11 Slide 11 but it’s not all about disabled people consuming UGC… what about contributing it? will the tools allow that? for all? or will disabled people be left without a voice in web 2.0? Accessibility 2.0 & UGC - creation

12 Slide 12 for many this is easy… for others it’s really not… some examples people with literacy difficulties people whose first language is BSL Accessibility 2.0 & UGC - creation

13 Slide 13 responsibility of site/content creators – adding accessibility support to content (moderation) will the site owner let the users know accessibility support is important? will they monitor if users are enriching their content with accessibility support? and if those users aren’t doing this… will the site owners do that enrichment themselves, through moderation? –it can be costly, and it’s very difficult to automate –should there be a difference in responsibility between social networking (e.g. Facebook, YouTube) and more general site creation tools (e.g. blogger, google page creator)? –the DDA isn’t clear here (cf. responsibility of ISPs, Napster etc. for content on them) the BBC are looking at how we can do this… we’re using the “moderator adds the accessibility” approach and trying to be strategic - enriching most popular/quality UGC Accessibility 2.0 & UGC - responsibility

14 Slide 14 people with literacy difficulties… they may want to contribute… but words are the problem so they might not want to add to wikipedia, as they didn’t want to email into “have your say?” –Compare the task of “email friends” in Facebook (for example) to Outlook (for example) but they might if your site’s text entry mechanism includes a spell-checker… –you can find AJAX ones on the web if you try and they might win Upstaged if they upload their video contribution to it… Accessibility 2.0 & UGC - creation

15 Slide 15 people who use BSL… may be happy to use written English in a closed- forum with their peers, but may feel intimidated if mainstream users arrive too… but they might put BSL video on YouTube… they might even add subtitles or transcripts to make it accessible to non-BSL users… Accessibility 2.0 & UGC - creation

16 Slide 16 moving on to rich media/multimedia the bulk of web content used to be text + graphics… the content now incorporates –applications –audio (podcasting) –video –animation –games how is this going to change things? let’s look at that “accessibility evangelism” slide again... Accessibility 2.0 & Multimedia

17 Slide 17 Accessibility is a partnership to make a website accessible, all of the following need to work together:  Website creators  Assistive technology creators (e.g. Freedom Scientific, ReadPlease)  Operating system creators (e.g. Microsoft, Apple)  Disability assessment agencies (e.g. AbilityNet, RNIB)  Browser creators (e.g. Microsoft, Opera)  comms via W3C-WAI…

18 Slide 18 Threats: the accessibility chain doesn’t work any more... find me the assistive technology that can: –make video accessible to blind people… –or podcasts accessible to deaf people… –or MMOGs fully accessible to either? the problem is that current ATs aren’t able to “crack” the content –it’s about the content… not just the controls –“accessible multi-media browsers” are useful, but how do you do ‘alt-text’ for a video?“accessible multi-media browsers” this is why new techniques are necessary (cf. WCAG 2) –the web’s less and less about things which ATs which handle (esp. screenreaders) so it’s up to the content creators - we need to bring in other accessibility professionals Accessibility 2.0 & Multimedia

19 Slide 19 Accessibility 2.0 and Multimedia Opportunities: these are huge, for many disabled people who sometimes get forgotten –WCAG doesn’t say much about learning difficulties, autism, Deaf… –but video, for many, is more accessible than text »why have “Plain English” when you can have TV? e.g. rich-media can give us great opportunities to help Deaf people (BBC R&D) get rid of the phrase “it is/isn’t accessible…” replace it with “it is/isn’t accessible to people with this disability”? understand that sometimes you can’t please all of the people with the same product…

20 Slide 20 Personalisation of Multimedia accessibility isn’t just for blind people get rid of the phrase “it is/isn’t accessible…” replace it with “it is/isn’t usable by people with this disability”? understanding that sometimes you can’t please all of the people with the same product… hence personalisation… e.g. access services for TV –subtitling –audio description –signing or games –take all of the above –and add in 3D immersive environments –who you gonna call…? and if this is UGC… back to that slide again…

21 Slide 21 responsibility of site/content creators – adding accessibility support to content (moderation) will the site owner let the users know accessibility support is important? will they monitor if users are enriching their content with accessibility support? and if those users aren’t doing this… will the site owners do that enrichment themselves, through moderation? –it can be costly, and it’s very difficult to automate –should there be a difference in responsibility between social networking (e.g. Facebook, YouTube) and more general site creation tools (e.g. blogger, google page creator)? –the DDA isn’t clear here (cf. responsibility of ISPs, Napster etc. for content on them) the BBC are looking at how we can do this… we’re using the “moderator adds the accessibility” approach and trying to be strategic - enriching most popular/quality UGC Accessibility 2.0 & UGC - responsibility if alt-text is costly, that goes double for: Subtitles, Audio-description, Signing ways of doing this… the BBC are looking at the “moderator adds the accessibility” approach –and trying to be strategic - enriching most popular/quality UGC ask other motivated users to add the accessibility (very web 2.0) –e.g. Porn for the Blind’s audio description

22 Slide 22 sometimes even personalisation isn’t enough… when a particular audience needs something specific to their needs, where those needs differ from the “mainstream” doing something specifically for a particular audience can reap benefits… and suggest new technologies and techniques which can suggest: new ATs (assistive technologies) and new AIs (alternative interfaces)… a couple of R&D examples from the BBC: a ‘create’ for children who are deaf –a pointer for Deaf-hearing social networking a way of making 3D soundscapes accessible to blind children –through 2D and 3D audiogames Beyond Inclusion – visions of the future…

23 Slide 23 Any questions… ? Contact: jonathan.hassell@bbc.co.uk


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