[Irl-dean] Guidelines from WGBH: Create AccessibleDigital Media]

Joshue O Connor joshue.oconnor at ncbi.ie
Tue Aug 29 13:36:15 IST 2006

Hi All,

Some of you will find this useful.


Guidelines for Creating Accessible Digital Media Published by WGBH

Boston, MA (July 2006).  The WGBH National Center for Accessible Media
(NCAM), a division of public broadcaster and access technology pioneer
WGBH Boston, announces publication of "Accessible Digital Media: Design
Guidelines for Electronic Publications, Multimedia and the Web."

These guidelines, providing step-by-step solutions for making a variety
of electronic media accessible to users with sensory disabilities, are
now available free of charge at http://ncam.wgbh.org/publications/adm/ .
A free CD containing the guidelines is also available; e-mail
access at wgbh.org to order single or multiple copies.

These guidelines are the culmination of the "Beyond the Text" project
(http://ncam.wgbh.org/ebooks), conducted by NCAM and funded by the
National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) of
the U.S. Department of Education . Project staff studied methods for
integrating accessible multimedia into e-books and digital talking books
(DTBs), and the results of this research have been incorporated into the
guidelines. The document is a greatly expanded version of
recommendations first published in 2000 and revised in 2003, under
projects funded by the National Science Foundation .

"Accessible Digital Media: Design Guidelines for Electronic
Publications, Multimedia and the Web" presents solutions to
accessibility obstacles in a format designed to educate and assist
digital publishers as well as Web and content developers. As with tools
previously created by NCAM, including MAGpie (free, do-it-yourself
captioning and audio description software) and CaptionKeeper (a tool for
migrating captions created for analog video to digital formats), NCAM
anticipates that the ready availability of these guidelines will help
accelerate the creation of e-books, DTBs, software and Web sites with
accessible images, multimedia, interactivity, data tables, graphs, and
mathematical and scientific expressions.

Geoff Freed, project manager for "Beyond the Text," comments, "While the
guidelines focus largely on content creation for educational materials,
the solutions and recommendations are not restricted to academic
settings. Lifelong learning is expected of every individual in the 21st
century and advancement in the workplace is often tied to learning new
skills and concepts. Corporate trainers and knowledge-management experts
in all fields utilize interactive and Web-based content for professional
development, and learning materials of all types now include multimedia-
movies and audio clips and a variety of interactive elements."

Those interested in building accessibility into digital materials may
also want to review the results of another NCAM initiative which
promotes the design of accessible learning management systems, used by
many schools, universities and workplaces. NCAM's Specifications for
Accessible Learning Technologies (SALT) Partnership established an
accessibility working group within the IMS Global Learning Consortium
(IMS). This work, producing specifications for a universally designed
infrastructure for adaptable learning systems, will result in an
international standard from the International Organization on
Standardization (ISO).

Please contact NCAM if you have comments about these guidelines or
suggestions for future revisions. We also encourage you to visit NCAM's
Web site (http://ncam.wgbh.org) to explore other ongoing access

About NCAM
NCAM is part of the Media Access Group at WGBH, which also includes:
* The Caption Center, which first developed captioning for TV in the
early '70s and,
* Descriptive Video Service(r), a TV access service launched in 1990 to
offer description of on-screen action, settings, costumes and character
expressions to people who are blind and visually impaired.

Since its founding in 1993, the National Center for Accessible Media has
been the R&D pioneer in the field of media access, advancing the
accessibility of all forms of media in a wide range of venues, including
movie theaters, the Internet, digital television and mobile media in the
home, classroom, workplace and community.

For additional information about all of NCAM's activities and the
projects, please visit http://ncam.wgbh.org .

Mary Watkins
Media Access Group at WGBH
mary_watkins at wgbh.org
phone: 617 300-3700 voice
617 300-2489 TTY

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