I just read that Google will soon be providing automatic captioning of videos on Youtube. That is one of the most significant event for web accessibility in a LONG time. I am very happy to hear that. It will be good for me, and good for many other people as well
One of the barriers I regularly encounter is people sending me to their blog to check something out, but there’s no captioning. This means that I don’t even bother with the video, because I’ll have too hard a time understanding what is said. Face to face I have no problem, but on the phone, or videos online, generally I miss a good 50% of what is said, unless the sound is really high, at which point there’s speaker distorsion (and the neighbours complain!).
And my accessibility issues in that area are far from major. This step from Google is quite excellent.
Obviously, machine translations aren’t perfect, far from it. But it will be much better than nothing at all.
Google also offers new tools to make it easier to create manual captioning. This will be good.
It is a very timely release, as I was starting to explore the best ways to caption videos I’m going to be preparing over the next few weeks.
The feature isn’t yet "live" for everyone, but I can’t wait to test drive it and see how it handles my strange accent.
More information on the Google Blog
How do YOU feel about this?