Freedom to Look, Freedom to Listen - Progress in Media Accessibility Technology

Tech Review 2020

This article reviews several issues in media accessibility technology.  One concerns whether we should see accessibility measures rather as ‘personalization options’ that allow for human differences.

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Awareness is growing of the value of media accessibility to society, and of the range of human conditions that could be helped by media accessibility measures.The article considers the relevant current media environment, and some of the accessibility options before us.  It lists the main questions to be resolved when deciding strategy and examines some specific issues. These include whether a universal system can be specified for subtitling/closed-captioning for all media, the ways in which optional signers can be provided, and the prospects for photo-realistic signers.  Finally, the article offers some initial thoughts on helping those on the autistic spectrum.