Example for Checkpoint
1.3 - Until user agents can automatically read aloud the text equivalent of a visual track, provide an auditory description of the important information of the visual track of a multimedia presentation.

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Priority 1

An auditory description of a multimedia clip's visual track is used to convey important information, such as scenery, movement, charts, graphs, etc., which is otherwise lost if the user cannot see the screen. For persons who are blind or visually impaired, these audio descriptions are necessary if the user is to fully understand any video-based presentation.

This guideline is only a stop-gap measure because we expect that future user agents will be able to use a text-to-speech application to automatically read and speak audio descriptions from text. Writing the descriptions (rather than recording them) may be easier for page authors since only a text editor is required. Providing recorded audio descriptions requires the page author to have sound recording and editing capabilities. Another benefit of written descriptions (as opposed to recorded descriptions) is that the text file can be indexed and searched, just like any other text on a Web site.

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Chuck Letourneau & Geoff Freed

W3C Web Accessibility Initiative

Copyright © 2000 W3C