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WGBH/Media Access Update: DTV, Mobile Media, In-Flight Entertainment and Emergency Alerts. National Association of the Deaf Convention New Orleans - 2008 Mary Watkins, Media Access Group at WGBH. WGBH & Access WGBH & Access
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WGBH/Media Access Update:DTV, Mobile Media, In-Flight Entertainment and Emergency Alerts National Association of the Deaf Convention New Orleans - 2008 Mary Watkins, Media Access Group at WGBH
WGBH & Access • WGBH & Access • The Caption Center (est. 1972)Traditional audience: people who are deaf or hard of hearing • Captions television, feature films • CD & DVD-ROM • Streaming video • Descriptive Video Service/DVS (est. 1990)Traditional audience: people who are blind or visually impaired Describes television, home videos, feature films by inserting key visual elements during pauses in dialogue
Carl and Ruth Shapiro Family National Center for Accessible Media at WGBH (NCAM) (est. 1993) Research and development facility • supports national policy decisions • develops technical solutions • conducts research • promotes advocacy via outreach
Captioning in Digital Television • Big, beautiful screens and images • High definition TV's, or DTVs are required to display captioning… and not just “regular” captioning, but captions viewers can set preferences for themselves (size, color, background, etc.)
Captioning in Digital Television • Then why are people having problems viewing captions???It starts at the store (Best Buy, Sears, Costco… take your pick). Checking out captions is just not easy…why?Because the “taped” programming they show on all the display sets is not captioned. Why don’t they just show broadcast or cable TV on the sets? Because their competitors’ ad may come on… not good. • (You can) Insist they disconnect the taped program and tune to a local network so you can activate the captions.
Captioning in Digital Television • OK, so you’ve taken a chance on a model you like (or received a recommendation from a friend), are you all set? No.Many cable companies’ digital set-top boxes (those manufactured by Motorola or Scientific Atlanta, now owned by Cisco System) require you to turn the cable set top box off to find the control menu to activate captions. That’s right. It’s a (secret) “firmware” menu that you can only get to when the box is turned off and you activate the menu button on the box’s remote control.How would you know this? Motorola says so in their set-top box manual… http://broadband.motorola.com/consumers/products/DCT6412/downloads/DCT6412_User_Guide.pdf
Captioning in Digital Television • OK, so NOW you’re set, right? Um, not yet. Some broadcast and cable networks are broadcasting in both “standard definition’ and “high definition.” If it’s the same program, you would think both versions would be captioned. However, sometimes the “standard” captions have not been upconverted to high definition captions, even though there is equipment to make this nearly automated. The FCC’s captions mandates require nearly 100% captioning of network programs… but, are high definition versions of existing networks NEW networks (and therefore exempt from the mandates for four years from their debut date)? The FCC has not ruled yet.
Captioning in Digital Television Is there more you need to know? Yes… start here: www.dtvaccess.orgA Web site full of information about access services and the DTV conversion, including white papers WGBH has written on the subject and links to other helpful resources maintained by industry and consumer groups.
Captioning in Digital Television WGBH has established a one-way e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org as an aggregator of complaints and problems. If you send a report about a DTV access problem to this address, you will receive an automatic response that says that your report has been received and that we are gathering information but cannot respond to your inquiry, and that we will pass along common issues to relevant parties.
Access to In-flight Communications and Entertainment Three-year, Department of Education-funded project to research methods of making in-flight entertainment systems accessible to airline passengers who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind or who have low vision. • Determine means of delivering closed captions and audio descriptions within these devices, and how to make the user interface (usually touch-screen based) accessible to people with little or no sight via audio navigation prompts. • Work with the airlines, hardware and content (programming/movie) distributors to get captioned and described movies, news and tv programs onto planes.
Access to In-flight Communications and Entertainment (Prototype screen 1)
Access to In-flight Communications and Entertainment (Prototype screen 2)
Access to In-flight Communications and Entertainment (Prototype screen 3) Captioned movie
Access to In-flight Communications and Entertainment (Prototype screen 3) Captioned TV
Captioning Solutions for Handheld Media and Mobile Devices • Explore and prototype methods for delivering captioned media to mobile devices of all kinds • Address the technical requirements for packaging and distributing captions • Examine ways for users to access and control caption data
Captioning Solutions for Handheld Media and Mobile Devices • Launched October 1, 2007 (http://ncam.wgbh.org/mm) • Partners and participants include... • AOL • Apple • HP/Hewlett-Packard • Open Media Network • Research In Motion (makers of the Blackberry) • MacNeil/Lehrer Productions • Samsung • Funding provided by the U.S. Department of Education
Captioning Solutions for Handheld Media and Mobile Devices • At this time, only Apple’s I-Phone, Touch and Nano devices can display true closed captioning… this is cc on an iPhone…
What’s next? • Focus groups in Los Angeles and Boston • test a variety of caption-display options • ideas for caption-control interfaces • Continue studying caption-creation methods for mobile delivery • Begin creating prototypes of caption-control interfaces • Continue to work with standards groups • Continue to work with vendors to develop and refine methods for creating and distributing caption data • Create working examples of captioned media, and provide online survey so consumers can provide feedback and preferences
Want to see more? • Comparison chart of devices and demos online ncam.wgbh.org/mm/samples.html
Access: A Disney Solution Tactile Controls Activation
Access to Emergency Alerts for People with Disabilities • Four-year grant, funded by U.S. Department of Commerce’s Technology Opportunities Fund - (concludes September 2008) • Awarded to NCAM for its legacy in uniting consumer and industry to influence policy, standards, and technology on behalf of people with sensory disabilities • Commitment to accessible emergency information from beginning of first captioned news
In emergency management arena, no other focus on accessible notification for people who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind or who have low vision • Not charged with implementation • Information requirements and presentation preferences from consumers • Online information repository • Recommendations to industry and government • Significant outreach to federal, state and municipal government agencies, industry, and consumers
Access Alerts ParticipantsNational advisory board includes national and state consumer advocacy organizations (including NAD), NOAA/NWS, state and municipal government officials • National working group includes state and municipal emergency management personnel, providers of notification services and equipment, and others
Access Alerts Draft Information Requirements • Make appropriate use of font size, foreground/ background color and other visual attributes in image and text • Use appropriate language for comprehension by the at-risk audience • Allow extension of info format to meet future needs • Facilitate delivery of message to all recipients thru multiple channels • Be compatible with various transmission systems • Provide warning message details in: • Audio and text form • Image or other visual form • Multiple languages • Use multiple forms of presentation appropriate to needs of individual recipients
Access Alerts Focus Groups and Usability Testing Conducted at three points over the course of the project with: Consumers who were • deaf, • hard of hearing, • blind, • low vision or are • deaf-blind Individuals within above groups self identified as tech savvy or not tech savvy so project could address multiple needs and make sure recommendations represented all users.
Access Alerts: What can be done immediately… • Involve consumers in drills and training sessions • Make subscription sign-ups for alerts accessible • Include accessibility as a requirement in bids and contracts with providers of notification equipment and services • Explore creation of a library of accessible “standard” emergency messages
Access Alerts Resources at ncam.wgbh.org/alerts • Re-launch end of Summer 2008 • Consumer and social science research • Information repository • Draft information requirements, drawn from existing authoritative works and working group: • National Science and Technology Council “Red Book” report on “Effective Disaster Warnings” • OASIS Emergency Management Technical Committee warning format requirements • World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Accessibility Guidelines
Information/materials at access.wgbh.org Mary Watkins Director of Communications and Outreach Media Access Group at WGBH email@example.com