Open Media Player – Jisc Accessible by Design challenge

Today we entered our idea in Jisc’s Accessible by Design competition. We’ve got some innovations we’d like us to pursue, and Jisc’s competition seems like a great vehicle.

Video comment about the proposed accessibility-related features, on YouTube.

We’re looking at two features. The first is interactive synchronized transcripts. This should be of benefit to those with hearing impairments, and a general audience. In an e-learning context, interactive transcripts may be of benefit to anyone who is time-poor, and quickly wants to recap specific parts of a online lecture or talk. User’s will be able to do a text search and jump to that point in the audio and video. The current word or phrase will also be highlighted as the media is played.

The second is audio description (AD), sometimes called described video. This is important for the blind and visually impaired. Its fairly established on TV, but not at all common on the Web (only the BBC in the UK I think). I envisage using a separate audio track for the descriptions – a challenge then becomes synchronizing the buffering of the video and audio.

A third thing (sort of a feature?) that is long-overdue is a general refresh of the Player’s visual design or theme. This is a good opportunity to improve usability – based on what we’ve learnt previously. It’s also important to keep the Player looking modern and attractive, so that authors want to embed it (there’s no point having a beautifully accessible player, that looks a bit “old” and clunky).

We’re excited about the potential for these innovations. Please show your support by voting on the Jisc Elevator web site.

Also take some time to look at the other great ideas people have submitted.

Thank you!

Vote! Jisc

Open Media Player

Errata: pointed out by my colleague, Martyn Cooper “…It is 180,000 students and 14% declare a disability” – thank you & apologies!

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