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MAKING VIDEOS MORE ACCESSIBLE
TO THE DEAF AND THE HARD-OF-HEARING
Olivier NOURRY – Qelios.fr
@OlivierNourry
A11YLDN 2012 1
What is it about?
Accessible videos? You have seen that already –
everything is in the WCAG.
True – WCAG and similar resou...
Things we will discuss here
A11YLDN 2012Olivier NOURRY – Qelios.fr
@OlivierNourry 3
As a video maker, how can I make more ...
A word on creativity
All these tips will somehow limit your creative
freedom.
I admit it.
Now, when you make a video for t...
Some things you need to know
There’s not just one kind of hearing impairment:
 Some people don’t hear at all
 Some have ...
Different situations, different needs
 Some people will heavily rely on captions, others
won’t use them
 Some will need ...
Captioning and on-screen texts
http://www.flickr.com/photos/58558794@N07/5750588439/
A11YLDN 2012Olivier NOURRY – Qelios.f...
Users needs for on-screen texts
Generally, texts remain on screen for a very short time.
The reader must be able to read t...
Your top priority: be legible
Factors that affect on-screen legibility:
Consistence of fonts, sizes, and effects
Font fa...
Consistence of fonts, sizes and effects
How fast can you read that?
“Giddy Fortune's furious fickle wheel,
That goddess b ...
Font face: What makes a good choice
Looks familiar to most (avoid exoticism)
Limits confusion between characters (f & t,...
Font face: What makes a poor choice
Fonts designed for printing
 Serif types (Times, Courier, etc.)
 Palatino, Bookman
...
Font face: Some good choices
– Officina Sans Book
– Officina Sans Medium
– Unit
– Fago
– Taz
A11YLDN 2012Olivier NOURRY – ...
Font face: about captions/subtitles
 Fonts like Verdana, Trebuchet, Georgia, are ok for
some texts, but not for captions ...
Size
 Text height between 1/10th and 1/25th of the
media height.
 A practical value of 1/20th is generally applied.
(so,...
Contrasts
A good contrast will make your viewers happier!
Apply WCAG rules:
At least 4,5:1 for sufficient contrast
At le...
Colour combinations
Some colour combinations are more legible than
others, especially for people with dyslexia or
colourbl...
Spacing, alignment, orientation
 Stick with the default letter spacing
 Too wide reduces the quantity of text on screen
...
Quantity
 Per line: 75 to 85 characters.
 One or two lines if possible, 3 being a maximum.
Note: captions must be synchr...
Spelling and punctuation
 Provide correct spelling and grammar.
 Use accented letters where appropriate, even on
capital...
Sign language
http://www.flickr.com/photos/istolethetv/71915/
A11YLDN 2012Olivier NOURRY – Qelios.fr
@OlivierNourry 21
Sign language: things to know
A language of its own:
Not a mere transposition of oral languages
Syntax and grammar diffe...
Filming a signer
Active parts of the signer’s body must be visible
Show face, chest, hands and arms
Find the right dista...
Size of the signed video
The smaller the insert, the harder it is to interpret.
 If possible: make the signed video as la...
Signing complexity
Sign language can convey complexity as well as oral
languages do.
However, expect difficulties when int...
Lip reading
http://www.flickr.com/photos/thebusybrain/2973536916/
A11YLDN 2012Olivier NOURRY – Qelios.fr
@OlivierNourry 26
A bit of myth busting
Lip reading is not a super power that replaces hearing.
It may be used to help comprehension, but is...
Lip reading, a misnomer
It’s not only the mouth, but the whole face that is
« read ».
A11YLDN 2012Olivier NOURRY – Qelios....
Filming talking subjects
Face or three-quarter shots.
Find the right distance, the right lighting.
Avoid obstructions (fac...
Low literacy
http://www.flickr.com/photos/lindaaslund/3231686432/
A11YLDN 2012Olivier NOURRY – Qelios.fr
@OlivierNourry 30
A common issue
For native signers, written language is a second
language, at best.
Reading can be difficult, when not impo...
Improved audio comprehension
http://www.flickr.com/photos/lindaaslund/3231686432/
A11YLDN 2012Olivier NOURRY – Qelios.fr
@...
A note about users needs
People who are hard-of-hearing may use amplification:
 Via the content player, or their system
...
Ensure sufficient audio contrast
WCAG2 recommend a 20dB contrast between dialogues and
background. What does that mean?
 ...
Avoid overlapping sounds
One voice at a time.
Reduce background noises, music, or dialogues, or any
other interfering soun...
Choose distinct voices
If there is a narrator, choose a voice very distinct from
those in the video.
A male voice if most...
Avoid pitch and volume variations
From the beginning of the video, the users should be
able to tune their system or hearin...
Thank you!
Olivier Nourry
Business Development Manager at Qelios
@OlivierNourry
about.me/oliviernourry
A11YLDN 2012Olivier...
References
W3C/WAI : Media Accessibility User Requirements: http://www.w3.org/TR/media-accessibility-
reqs/
W3C/WAI : Medi...
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Making videos more accessible to the Deaf and the Hard-of-hearing

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Accessibility guidelines like the WCAG, or other similar best practices, provide detailed information about how to implement videos to make them technically accessible. Thanks to these documents, we understand the need for captions, sign language versions, and sufficient audio contrasts to accommodate the needs for users with auditory impairments.
However, these guidelines say nothing about how to shoot, edit, or post-product a video, in order to make it more understandable or usable by people with different abilities. Which is logical with regards to the technical orientation of the WCAG and their spawns: this “editorial” aspect of making videos not being in their scope. Yet, video makers, through their design choices, can influence the overall accessibility of video content. This presentation aims at proposing hints and tips to video makers, answering questions like:
- Which fonts are best suited for captions and on-screen texts?
- How to select voices in order to optimise audio contrasts?
- Which angles or framing are preferable?
- How to insert a sign language version?
The layout of the presentation:
- Understanding the different types of hearing impairments
- The wide variety of D&HoH users’ needs
- Captioning and on-screen texts
- Sign language inserts
- Lip reading facilitation
- Dealing with low literacy
- Optimising audio comprehension

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Making videos more accessible to the Deaf and the Hard-of-hearing

  1. 1. MAKING VIDEOS MORE ACCESSIBLE TO THE DEAF AND THE HARD-OF-HEARING Olivier NOURRY – Qelios.fr @OlivierNourry A11YLDN 2012 1
  2. 2. What is it about? Accessible videos? You have seen that already – everything is in the WCAG. True – WCAG and similar resources tell you all about the technical side of things:  Implement captions – ok  Ensure sufficient audio contrast – nice  Implement sign language version – makes sense But what about the editorial point of view? A11YLDN 2012Olivier NOURRY – Qelios.fr @OlivierNourry 2
  3. 3. Things we will discuss here A11YLDN 2012Olivier NOURRY – Qelios.fr @OlivierNourry 3 As a video maker, how can I make more educated choices when preparing, shooting, editing, or post- producing my movie? We’ll try to answer questions like:  Which fonts are best suited for captions and on-screen texts?  How to insert a sign language version?  Which angles or framing are preferable?  How to select voices in order to optimise audio contrasts?
  4. 4. A word on creativity All these tips will somehow limit your creative freedom. I admit it. Now, when you make a video for the Web, are you creating a message vehicle, or a piece of art? The answer to that question will determine whether what follows is useful to you, or not. A11YLDN 2012Olivier NOURRY – Qelios.fr @OlivierNourry 4
  5. 5. Some things you need to know There’s not just one kind of hearing impairment:  Some people don’t hear at all  Some have never heard; others have heard, but not anymore  Some people hear only loud sounds and voices  Some people hear only certain frequencies  Some people hear well, but are disturbed by some sounds (hyperacousis, tinnitus) A11YLDN 2012Olivier NOURRY – Qelios.fr @OlivierNourry 5
  6. 6. Different situations, different needs  Some people will heavily rely on captions, others won’t use them  Some will need sign language exclusively  Some will combine hearing or reading with lip- reading  Some people will require louder sounds, others will need a constant volume or pitches A11YLDN 2012Olivier NOURRY – Qelios.fr @OlivierNourry 6
  7. 7. Captioning and on-screen texts http://www.flickr.com/photos/58558794@N07/5750588439/ A11YLDN 2012Olivier NOURRY – Qelios.fr @OlivierNourry 7
  8. 8. Users needs for on-screen texts Generally, texts remain on screen for a very short time. The reader must be able to read them quickly, with as few errors as possible. A11YLDN 2012Olivier NOURRY – Qelios.fr @OlivierNourry 8
  9. 9. Your top priority: be legible Factors that affect on-screen legibility: Consistence of fonts, sizes, and effects Font face Relative size Colour contrasts Colour combinations Spacings, alignment, orientation Quantity of text Spelling and punctuation A11YLDN 2012Olivier NOURRY – Qelios.fr @OlivierNourry 9
  10. 10. Consistence of fonts, sizes and effects How fast can you read that? “Giddy Fortune's furious fickle wheel, That goddess b l i n d , That stands upon the rollingRESTLESS stone.” William Shakespeare (in Henry V) Simple rule: be consistent, vary only when necessary A11YLDN 2012Olivier NOURRY – Qelios.fr @OlivierNourry 10
  11. 11. Font face: What makes a good choice Looks familiar to most (avoid exoticism) Limits confusion between characters (f & t, l & 1, S & 5, etc.); some combinations (rn & m, cl & d, oj & g, etc.); and symetric characters (p & q, b & d). Works well at low resolutions (media and/or device) Includes a large set of characters: accented, graphic symbols (like music notes), etc. Allows a sufficient density (lines will be short) Variations like Bold, Italics, Condensed, should be available A11YLDN 2012Olivier NOURRY – Qelios.fr @OlivierNourry 11
  12. 12. Font face: What makes a poor choice Fonts designed for printing  Serif types (Times, Courier, etc.)  Palatino, Bookman Fonts from the Grotesk family (Arial, Univers, Helvetica) Tiresia, Geneva Cursive and scripted fonts in general Note: fonts like Verdana, Trebuchet, Georgia, are ok for some texts, but not for captions and subtitles A11YLDN 2012Olivier NOURRY – Qelios.fr @OlivierNourry 12
  13. 13. Font face: Some good choices – Officina Sans Book – Officina Sans Medium – Unit – Fago – Taz A11YLDN 2012Olivier NOURRY – Qelios.fr @OlivierNourry 13
  14. 14. Font face: about captions/subtitles  Fonts like Verdana, Trebuchet, Georgia, are ok for some texts, but not for captions and subtitles.  Font of the slabserifs type work well at low resolutions, therefore they are appropriate for captions and subtitles:  Rockwell:  Serifa:  Lucida: A11YLDN 2012Olivier NOURRY – Qelios.fr @OlivierNourry 14
  15. 15. Size  Text height between 1/10th and 1/25th of the media height.  A practical value of 1/20th is generally applied. (so, yes, size matters) A11YLDN 2012Olivier NOURRY – Qelios.fr @OlivierNourry 15
  16. 16. Contrasts A good contrast will make your viewers happier! Apply WCAG rules: At least 4,5:1 for sufficient contrast At least 7:1 for improved contrast. Tips: Insert a background (eg. very dark grey, half transparent) behind captions Insert borders or shadows around the characters. A11YLDN 2012Olivier NOURRY – Qelios.fr @OlivierNourry 16
  17. 17. Colour combinations Some colour combinations are more legible than others, especially for people with dyslexia or colourblindness: Avoid pure black on pure white; look for very dark grays on very light grays Avoid red/green, orange/green, yellow/green, blue- green/magenta, blue-green/purple, blue-green/blue Prefer couples of colours chosen in {rust, terracotta, pale yellow} or {light purple, navy blue, magenta} A11YLDN 2012Olivier NOURRY – Qelios.fr @OlivierNourry 17
  18. 18. Spacing, alignment, orientation  Stick with the default letter spacing  Too wide reduces the quantity of text on screen  Too narrow reduces legibility  Line spacing: 1.5 times the characters height.  Left, right, or centered. Do not justify.  Avoid vertical, reversed, or mirrored text.  Avoid moving, flashing, or blinking texts. A11YLDN 2012Olivier NOURRY – Qelios.fr @OlivierNourry 18
  19. 19. Quantity  Per line: 75 to 85 characters.  One or two lines if possible, 3 being a maximum. Note: captions must be synchronized with the video, so there might be some tough choices to make in some cases. A11YLDN 2012Olivier NOURRY – Qelios.fr @OlivierNourry 19
  20. 20. Spelling and punctuation  Provide correct spelling and grammar.  Use accented letters where appropriate, even on capital letters.  Provide correct punctuation, especially for long texts and phrases. A11YLDN 2012Olivier NOURRY – Qelios.fr @OlivierNourry 20
  21. 21. Sign language http://www.flickr.com/photos/istolethetv/71915/ A11YLDN 2012Olivier NOURRY – Qelios.fr @OlivierNourry 21
  22. 22. Sign language: things to know A language of its own: Not a mere transposition of oral languages Syntax and grammar differ totally Defines a whole culture See written language as a « second language » All the body participates: hands, chest, face… Different countries, different SLs. A11YLDN 2012Olivier NOURRY – Qelios.fr @OlivierNourry 22
  23. 23. Filming a signer Active parts of the signer’s body must be visible Show face, chest, hands and arms Find the right distance Good lighting, clear background A11YLDN 2012Olivier NOURRY – Qelios.fr @OlivierNourry 23 http://www.lifeprint.com/asl101/pages-signs/c/cat.htm
  24. 24. Size of the signed video The smaller the insert, the harder it is to interpret.  If possible: make the signed video as large as the main content. A11YLDN 2012Olivier NOURRY – Qelios.fr @OlivierNourry 24
  25. 25. Signing complexity Sign language can convey complexity as well as oral languages do. However, expect difficulties when interpreting humour, complex narration, destructured times or places, or jargon-laden content.  Ask an SL interpret for advice at pre-production level. A11YLDN 2012Olivier NOURRY – Qelios.fr @OlivierNourry 25
  26. 26. Lip reading http://www.flickr.com/photos/thebusybrain/2973536916/ A11YLDN 2012Olivier NOURRY – Qelios.fr @OlivierNourry 26
  27. 27. A bit of myth busting Lip reading is not a super power that replaces hearing. It may be used to help comprehension, but is not reliable enough in itself.  Only 30 to 40% of English sounds are distinguishable from sight alone. A11YLDN 2012Olivier NOURRY – Qelios.fr @OlivierNourry 27
  28. 28. Lip reading, a misnomer It’s not only the mouth, but the whole face that is « read ». A11YLDN 2012Olivier NOURRY – Qelios.fr @OlivierNourry 28 Not enough OK http://www.flickr.com/photos/scazon/3617748008/
  29. 29. Filming talking subjects Face or three-quarter shots. Find the right distance, the right lighting. Avoid obstructions (facial hair, veils, masks…). A11YLDN 2012Olivier NOURRY – Qelios.fr @OlivierNourry 29 Not good Better
  30. 30. Low literacy http://www.flickr.com/photos/lindaaslund/3231686432/ A11YLDN 2012Olivier NOURRY – Qelios.fr @OlivierNourry 30
  31. 31. A common issue For native signers, written language is a second language, at best. Reading can be difficult, when not impossible.  Avoid large chunks of text  Aim for clarity  Apply tips on legibility (on-screen texts section)  Whenever possible, provide a signed version. A11YLDN 2012Olivier NOURRY – Qelios.fr @OlivierNourry 31
  32. 32. Improved audio comprehension http://www.flickr.com/photos/lindaaslund/3231686432/ A11YLDN 2012Olivier NOURRY – Qelios.fr @OlivierNourry 32
  33. 33. A note about users needs People who are hard-of-hearing may use amplification:  Via the content player, or their system  Via hearing aids. Some people hear fairly well, except for some frequencies:  They don’t hear them, or not well enough  Or they hear them too well (hyperacousis). Some people do not recognize or differentiate sounds or voices (auditory agnosia). A11YLDN 2012Olivier NOURRY – Qelios.fr @OlivierNourry 33
  34. 34. Ensure sufficient audio contrast WCAG2 recommend a 20dB contrast between dialogues and background. What does that mean?  A quiet conversation in a library  A normal conversation in a forest  In a noisy street or restaurant, this would require to shout Avoid filming in noisy places. Whenever possible, at post-production, muffle background noises and enhance (or re-record) voices. Insert captions or visual cues where appropriate. A11YLDN 2012Olivier NOURRY – Qelios.fr @OlivierNourry 34
  35. 35. Avoid overlapping sounds One voice at a time. Reduce background noises, music, or dialogues, or any other interfering sounds.  Bonus: it also improves focus on the main dialogue. A11YLDN 2012Olivier NOURRY – Qelios.fr @OlivierNourry 35
  36. 36. Choose distinct voices If there is a narrator, choose a voice very distinct from those in the video. A male voice if most voices in the video are female An adult voice if most voices in the video are from children or youngsters A11YLDN 2012Olivier NOURRY – Qelios.fr @OlivierNourry 36
  37. 37. Avoid pitch and volume variations From the beginning of the video, the users should be able to tune their system or hearing aid appropriately. Important variations will cause pain or discomfort, and will require constant adjusting. A11YLDN 2012Olivier NOURRY – Qelios.fr @OlivierNourry 37
  38. 38. Thank you! Olivier Nourry Business Development Manager at Qelios @OlivierNourry about.me/oliviernourry A11YLDN 2012Olivier NOURRY – Qelios.fr @OlivierNourry 38
  39. 39. References W3C/WAI : Media Accessibility User Requirements: http://www.w3.org/TR/media-accessibility- reqs/ W3C/WAI : Media Accessibility Checklist: http://www.w3.org/WAI/PF/HTML/wiki/Media_Accessibility_Checklist Joe Clark : Best practices in online captioning: http://joeclark.org/access/captioning/bpoc/ Wikipedia : article : « Comparaison du volume de sources courantes de bruit » (in French): http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparaison_du_volume_de_sources_courantes_de_bruit UX Movement : 6 Surprising Bad Practices That Hurt Dyslexic Users: http://uxmovement.com/content/6-surprising-bad-practices-that-hurt-dyslexic-users/ UX Matters: Ensuring Accessibility for People With Color-Deficient Vision: http://www.uxmatters.com/mt/archives/2007/02/ensuring-accessibility-for-people-with-color- deficient-vision.php A11YLDN 2012Olivier NOURRY – Qelios.fr @OlivierNourry 39

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