2010 11 02 Itu Odessa Looms

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The accessibility issues: who has trouble watching TV, what can be done today,what needs to be done to improve accessibility in Europe. A version with audio can be downloaded here: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/4655124/Promoting_Accessible_Broadcasting.m4a

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  • This presentation looks at three issues (1) the nature and size of the challenge to make television accessible to as many viewers as possible: “ Which viewers have functional impairments that affect their TV viewing?” “How many of them are there?” (2) Mature access service solutions that are already available “ What is available?” What does it take to get started?” “What does it cost to offer on a regular basis?” (3) The main challenges in the short-term and a little further over the horizon “ Are there any current issues with mature access services?” “How can we best regulate for the uptake of digital television services” “What demographic challenges will we soon have to consider?”
  • In 2009 there were nearly 500 million Europeans in the EU27 countries. There are a few more if we add the European Economic Area. This is one of the biggest markets outside China and India.
  • The CIS states have a population of nearly 278 million people. Digital switch-over represents a great opportunity to address some of the needs of viewers with functional impairments.
  • The political goal is clear: making sure that people benefit from Information and Communication Technologies at work, at home and elsewhere. TV is a good place to start as it is the most widely used device, closely followed by radio and mobile phones.
  • The opposite side of the inclusion coin is exclusion . Historically, broadcasters have always taken measures to be inclusive. When offering television programming in foreign languages, the content has been localised – dubbing, lectoring, or subtitling – so that viewers could understand what was being said. By also offering access services such as subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing, visual signing for those born deaf, or audio description for those with visual impairments, broadcasters try to assure that viewers are not inadvertently excluded from being able to watch television.  
  • There are many demands made of broadcasters. Being able to say how big the problem is – to quantify the nature and size of the problem – is increasingly important when priorities have to be agreed and budgets allocated to access services. Currently, as many as 15% of adults in Europe have some kind of functional impairment that has an impact on their ability to watch a TV programme. While progress in the medical field means that some kinds of impairment are less prevalent than in the past, the increase in life expectancy across much of Europe over the last decade brings with it an increase in age-related hearing and sight impairments as well as a reduction of physical capacities such as dexterity (being able to handle a remote control). Studies in the USA using the same methodologies came up with numbers about 10-15% higher than the UK so figures based on the UK study by Grundy(available online in the exclusion calculator) are a good place to start. You can find the exclusion calculator at the University of Cambirdge website: http://www-edc.eng.cam.ac.uk/betterdesign/downloads/exclusioncalc.html
  • As individuals we all have our own peculiarities. Diversity is something to we usually appreciate, and hopefully this should apply to the diversity of our functional capabilities. When it comes to television viewers, there are many different groups with specific needs related to their functional impairments: Viewers born deaf whose mother tongue is sign language. The viewer finds it impossible to understand the sound track of a TV programme. Deaf viewers (oralists) who lost their hearing in childhood or adulthood. The viewer finds it very difficult/impossible to understand the sound track of a TV programme in his/her own language in spite of some degree of lip-reading skill. Viewers who are hard-of hearing . The viewer has some degree of difficulty understanding the sound track of a TV programme in his/her own language. Viewers who are blind. The viewer finds it very difficult/impossible to understand a TV programme with a sound track in his/her own language (original/dubbed) or in a foreign language. V iewers with visual impairments. The viewer finds it very difficult/impossible to understand a TV programme in a foreign language with interlingual subtitling and/or Subtitles for the Deaf and Hard of hearing (SDH) for same language content.
  • Across Europe we have groups of viewers of TV programmes whose mother tongue is not that of the programme . Such viewers may have difficulty understanding the dialogue of a TV programme. Young viewers (0-6 years) of TV-programmes in a foreign language. The viewer finds it very difficult/impossible to understand a TV programme in a foreign language where interlingual subtitling is offered.
  • A less commonly-reported kind of exclusion is social in nature. It is related to immigrants and political refugees for whom watching television in the country or region where they live is one of several means to promote social inclusion and integration. We also have elderly v iewers (often senior citizens) who are getting started with digital television. Such people may find it difficult or impossible to set up, configure or reconfigure a digital TV receiver. After digital switch-over, they may find it difficult to discover, select and view a given television programme using one or more remote control devices. Some of them find it difficult to follow young people who speak fast or with colloquial language (slang and modernisms).
  • Why access services now? Across Europe, broadcasters are switching over to digital transmission for television. By 2012, analogue shut-off should be complete in the EU. The UN Convention on the Rights and Dignity of Persons with Disabilities, and European legislation such as Article 7 of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive contain new rules that aim to make audiovisual content increasingly accessible for those with functional impairments. The Article stipulates that governments must encourage media companies under their jurisdiction to do this using access services such as subtitling and audio description . The Convention has been in force since 2008 and requires action at national level. In the EU, p rogress on the implementation of the Directive at national and regional level was reviewed by the Commission at the end of 2009. The timing for action now is right. This move to digital production and distribution and increasing regulatory demands is a window of opportunity. It allows broadcasters to enhance the viewing proposition: more television channels, higher quality images and multi-channel sound as well as better ways of finding and watching television programmes. At the same time, going digital also holds the promise of making television more inclusive . But for those who have not worked with digital television access services before, there will be some apprehension: Isn’t this going to mean a lot of work? Isn’t it very expensive? Can we afford it? Where do we start? What standards can we build upon? Who has the necessary experience we can use? We should start now, but there will be other windows in future.
  • A good place to start is with Subtitles (“closed” Subtitles for the Deaf and Hard-of-hearing (SDH)), “closed” interlingual subtitles). In the past subtitles were burnt into the picture, but today they are other subtitling delivery methods - using teletext and DVB-subtitles in Europe. We can also offer visual signing, and in some countries this is a legal requirement where sign language is recognised on a par with spoken languages.
  • This map shows the situation as regards subtitles. Until 2008, there were patchy statistics on the range of access services available in Europe. In response to requests to provide adequate statistics on the availability of mature access services in Europe, the European Broadcasting Union conducted a survey in 2009 with follow-ups planned on for the second half of 2010. Subtitling for the deaf and heard-of-hearing is on the increase not only in countries such as the UK where there is a 100% target for all the major television channels but also more generally across Europe. DVB subtitles offer the broadcaster greater control over the “look and feel” of opt-in subtitles than the comparable service using Teletext.  
  • Visual signing is perhaps the most contentious of the mature access services . It is widely offered across Europe. In-vision solutions are not generally popular with those who are not deaf. Opt-in solutions such as the one used by DR and TV2 in Denmark can only be offered for programming in standard definition as they require the creation of a virtual channel showing the signer almost the height of the screen as and when required – and this needs statistical multiplexing.
  • A brief explanation of what AD and Spoken subtitles are. Audio Description is an additional audio channel that interprets the picture information for the blind and visually impaired so that they can follow what is going on. The audio can be offered as an alternative mix by the broadcaster (broadcast mix) or mixed in the receiver itself (receiver mix). For programmes in foreign languages or containing sequences in foreign languages (eg. News), we can help the blind and visually impaired by reading the subtitles aloud in the native language using speech synthesis. This can be done by the broadcaster that provides an extra audio track (using the same dstribution mechanism as Audio Description – receiver mix). Nearly all digital terrestrial TV receivers in the EU have the capability to handle receiver mix, even if this is not mentioned in the documentation accompanying the receiver!
  • Audio description is also making headway, but is not yet widely available. The fact that a large proportion of the digital television receivers sold since 2009 are able to handle Audio Description (Receiver Mix) is neither known to the broadcasters nor to the general public. Given that Receiver Mix offers a bandwidth advantage of 200 kilobits/second over Broadcaster Mix (where the broadcaster offers two different stereo mixes) this is a source of concern, especially to the consumer electronics manufacturers who have made efforts to implement this service in their products. A major difficulty is finding a means to communicate the presence of Audio Description to the visually impaired. Suggestions have been made to add a short acoustic signal or jingle when a viewer moves the cursor over an EPG entry containing AD, or when zapping to a channel offering AD. More on this in article two. Audio (spoken) subtitling is also on the move in countries and territories where subtitles are used for inter-lingual communication (translating a soundtrack in a foreign language into the local language). Several countries are now offering centrally-produced audio subtitling using speech synthesis and can be regarded as a natural complement to Audio Description (Receiver Mix). There are clear synergies between inter-lingual subtitling and audio subtitling, and the operational costs of central systems appear to be within the means of most broadcasters.
  • Countries like Switzerland and Catalonia in Spain have subtitles in multiple languages – there can be upto 9 languages in the DVB system.
  • What are the current challenges? What is not working as we had foreseen?
  • Live subtitling. The following slides show how live subtitles are delivered to the user. The subtitles are usually delayed by 5 – 8 seconds for production reasons. In some cases the delay is even more.
  • Live subtitling. The following slides show how live subtitles are delivered to the user. The subtitles are usually delayed by 5 – 8 seconds for production reasons. In some cases the delay is even more.
  • Live subtitling. The following slides show how live subtitles are delivered to the user. The subtitles are usually delayed by 5 – 8 seconds for production reasons. In some cases the delay is even more.
  • Live subtitling. The following slides show how live subtitles are delivered to the user. The subtitles are usually delayed by 5 – 8 seconds for production reasons. In some cases the delay is even more.
  • Audience research done in 2009 shows that the usefulness of live subtitles is not good enough for a majorty of the target audience. The delay makes it too difficult to follow the programme. There are three main reasons for doing something about the problem now: - Broadcasters are increasing the proportion of live TV programmes. More live programmes need more live subtitles - The delay between speech and subtitles needs to be addressed - Live subtitling needs solutions called re-speaking. Re-speaking solutions for less-widely spoken languages need to be developed.
  • The second challenge.
  • 2. Spoken subtitles. The blind and visually impaired would like more access services to meet their needs. Showing the occasional film or drama series with AD is a cost-effectrive start but is not felt to be enough. For broadcasters showing prerecorded programmes with SDH subtitles, spoken subtitles is an inexpensive way for a TV channel to make such programmes morer accessible.
  • Spoken subtitles can be handled in a two-step approach: Today : Central solutions using speech synthesis to read aloud sequences in foreign languages Near future : Decentral solutions with speech synthesis in the TV receiver itself. The advantage of the decentral solution is that it could handle ALL television channels for which there were DVB subtitles.
  • The third challenge:
  • For exclusion to be prevented, several prerequisites have to be met. We can regard them as stepping stones.   the viewer must be aware that a relevant access service exists and have the appropriate (digital) receiver to receive the service the viewer must be able to set up the receiver or ask someone else to do so in order to receive the required access service and be able to find the access service on the receiver the viewer must have the necessary motivation to use the service and the viewer must be able to derive benefit from the access service.
  • In most countries, we have tended to focus on targets for the services and in some cases have looked at awareness. In the current climate, ”making a difference” using public money will require someone to look more carefully at all four stepping stones. Access services and users needs and requirements are fairly clear and understood, and are largely independent of the delivery network and device on which they are required. As the technologies used at any time and on any platform will depend on both technical and economic factors (which can include the shortage of bandwidth on broadcast networks) it makes good sense to define services in terms of who they should serve and what they should do rather than provide a detailed specification of the technological solution to be used.
  • The fourth challenge is how we choose to work together,
  • The metaphor of the blind men and the elephant is found in many cultures around the globe. Each of the men in the picture has his own understand of what an elephant is based on interpretations of what he can feel and smell. There are good arguments for getting all stakeholders involved in television to work together, so that they piece together the ”big picture” that covers all the interests and concerns of those involved.
  • This still is from an advertising break on New Zealand digital terrestrial television. Several brand owners have chosen to offer DVB subtitles for their ads to ge tthe message across to their customers.
  • This still is from an advertising break on New Zealand digital terrestrial television. Several brand owners have chosen to offer DVB subtitles for their ads to ge tthe message across to their customers.
  • This still is from an advertising break on New Zealand digital terrestrial television. Several brand owners have chosen to offer DVB subtitles for their ads to ge tthe message across to their customers.
  • This still is from an advertising break on New Zealand digital terrestrial television. Several brand owners have chosen to offer DVB subtitles for their ads to ge tthe message across to their customers.
  • This still is from an early-morning programme with video clips for teenagers. The signer is dancing in time with the music. The service sponsored by a local paint company. There may be viable solutions if we think out of the box.
  • Choosing the right way of getting stakeholders to work is critical to making change happen. Our experience in western Europe is that consensus and binding targets is better that coercion – imposing targets and solutions without the involvement of a broad range of stakeholders.
  • In conclusion, There is a significant demand for television access services. There are mature solutions which can deliver the goods. Producing and delivering access services idoes not necessarily mean a majorincreases in costs. We can do something now, if we work together.
  • Thank you!
  • 2010 11 02 Itu Odessa Looms

    1. 1. Promoting Accessible Broadcasting for Persons with Disabilities <ul><li>Peter Olaf Looms </li></ul><ul><li>DR (Danish Broadcasting Corporation) </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] , [email_address] </li></ul>ITU Europe and CIS Regional Workshop on Mainstreaming ICT Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities Odessa, Ukraine, 1-2 November 2010
    2. 2. Digital Television in Europe approximately 500 million viewers
    3. 3. Телевидение Содружество Независимых Государств, СНГ Potentially 278 million viewers
    4. 4. Political objective: e-inclusiveness Users getting the full benefit from ICT - including TV
    5. 5. Political objective: avoid exclusion
    6. 6. How big is the problem for TV in Europe? 15%
    7. 7. What are the needs? Human diversity is an asset <ul><li>Viewers born deaf or </li></ul><ul><li>have hearing impairment </li></ul><ul><li>Viewers who are blind </li></ul><ul><li>or have visual impairments </li></ul>
    8. 8. What are the needs? <ul><li>Viewers of programmes </li></ul><ul><li>in foreign languages </li></ul><ul><li>Young viewers of foreign </li></ul><ul><li>language programmes </li></ul>
    9. 9. What are the needs? <ul><li>Immigrants and </li></ul><ul><li>refugees </li></ul><ul><li>Adult viewers of </li></ul><ul><li>programmes with colloquial </li></ul><ul><li>or fast language </li></ul>
    10. 10. Why now? In Europe, free-to-air digital TV by 2012 represents a major window of opportunity… … but there will be others
    11. 11. E-inclusiveness What can we do today? <ul><li>Viewers born deaf or </li></ul><ul><li>with hearing impairment </li></ul><ul><li>Signing and subtitling Signing </li></ul>
    12. 12. Subtitles (intralingual) = Subtitles for the Deaf and Hard-of-hearing, SDH Source: European Broadcasting Union (EBU) april 2009 Trend towards 100% SDH coverage on main channels
    13. 13. Visual Signing Denmark & Netherlands use a dedicated channel simulcast. Kilde: European Broadcasting Union (EBU) april 2009
    14. 14. E-inclusiveness What can we do today? <ul><li>Viewers who are blind / </li></ul><ul><li>with visual impairments </li></ul><ul><li>Audio description (AD) or </li></ul><ul><li>spoken subtitles </li></ul>
    15. 15. Audio description Kilde: European Broadcasting Union (EBU) april 2009 Spoken subtitles in Finland, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden (trials in Denmark in 2011?)
    16. 16. E-inclusiveness What can we do today? <ul><li>Viewers of programmes </li></ul><ul><li>in foreign languages </li></ul><ul><li>Dubbing or subtitling in </li></ul><ul><li>national language(s) </li></ul>
    17. 17. E-inclusiveness Current challenges
    18. 18. E-inclusiveness Current challenges – live subtitling
    19. 19. E-inclusiveness Current challenges – live subtitling
    20. 20. E-inclusiveness Current challenges – live subtitling
    21. 21. E-inclusiveness Current challenges – live subtitling
    22. 22. <ul><li>Challenge </li></ul><ul><li>Solutions </li></ul><ul><li>More live programmes need more live subtitles </li></ul><ul><li>The delay between speech and subtitles needs to be addressed </li></ul><ul><li>Re-speaking solutions for less-widely spoken languages need to be developed. </li></ul>E-inclusiveness Current challenges – live subtitling
    23. 23. E-inclusiveness Current challenges
    24. 24. E-inclusiveness Current challenges – spoken subtitles <ul><li>Viewers who are blind / </li></ul><ul><li>with visual impairments </li></ul><ul><li>Spoken subtitles for foreign </li></ul><ul><li>language sequences </li></ul>
    25. 25. <ul><li>Challenge </li></ul><ul><li>Solutions </li></ul><ul><li>Today : Central solutions using speech synthesis to read aloud sequences in foreign languages </li></ul><ul><li>Near future : Decentral solutions with speech synthesis in the TV receiver itself </li></ul>E-inclusiveness Current challenges – spoken subtitles
    26. 26. E-inclusiveness Current challenges
    27. 27. E-inclusiveness Current challenges – from awareness to use Source: Aware that access service exists Can find access service Can use access service Benefits from access service
    28. 28. <ul><li>Challenge </li></ul><ul><li>Solutions </li></ul><ul><li>Look at the four stepping stones from awareness to use </li></ul><ul><li>Demand side goals </li></ul><ul><li>Service definition in terms of what is needed , not which technologies are used (”technology-agnostic service definition”) </li></ul>E-inclusiveness Current challenges – from awareness to use
    29. 29. E-inclusiveness Current challenges
    30. 30. Stakeholders and digital television The blind men and the elephant The big picture needs contributions from all stakeholders
    31. 31. Stakeholders and digital television Subtitles for TV adverts - Think out of the box
    32. 32. Stakeholders and digital television Subtitles for TV adverts - Think out of the box
    33. 33. Stakeholders and digital television Subtitles for TV adverts - Think out of the box
    34. 34. Stakeholders and digital television Subtitles for TV adverts - Think out of the box
    35. 35. Stakeholders and digital television Signing for video clips - Think out of the box
    36. 36. Stakeholders and digital television Consensus is more effective than coercion
    37. 37. E-inclusiveness Challenges that we should meet
    38. 38. Thank you! <ul><li>Contact particulars until 31/12 </li></ul><ul><li>Peter Olaf Looms </li></ul><ul><li>DR, Danish Broadcasting Corporation </li></ul><ul><li>DR Media </li></ul><ul><li>Strategy & Projects </li></ul><ul><li>DR-Byen </li></ul><ul><li>Emil Holms Kanal 20 </li></ul><ul><li>DK-0999 Copenhagen C </li></ul><ul><li>DENMARK </li></ul><ul><li>E: polooms@gmail.com </li></ul><ul><li>M: + 45 51 56 75 46 </li></ul><ul><li>D: + 45 35 20 83 66 </li></ul>

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