Hi all wondering what do people think of the following idea I just had.
when apple holds its media events there are frequently visual parts such as when adverts or promotional films are shown, photos demonstrating new features etc. I had the idea that apple could work with the aira service to get an aira agent to offer live audio description during the event as a live stream so even non paid customers could watch and the description could cover the visual parts of the event, like they did last year with the super bowl.
what do people think of this idea? I have already written to apple, and I guess if this is something we would find of use we should all write to both aira and apple requesting this as presumably aira would need apples permission to either have an agent live at the event offering description or even if they were just at home doing the description.
below is what I wrote to apple, thinking I will email aira as well.
I am writing to you because every year I enjoy watching your wwdc keynote addresses and other press events which you hold. I did just have an idea of how you might improve these events for members of your audience who are blind such as myself.
Frequently during these events there are visual components such as when photos or slides to demonstrate new camera and product features are shown, adverts are broadcast and promotional videos or shown or new products are displayed to the audience.
Obviously during these visual parts its very difficult for totally blind people watching your stream of the event to understand what is happening and follow along as well as your sighted audience. The idea I have had is this, there is a service called aira which aims to make visual information accessible by allowing professionally trained agents to describe surroundings and other useful information to blind users through a users iPhone.
One of the things that aira has done in the past is offer live audio description to events that are of public interest, for example last year in the UK they described a wedding which took place between two members of our royal family and they also described the Super bowl live final as it was played.
It occurs to me that if Apple could arrange with aira to offer live audio description of wwdc and other press events held by apple this would allow for your blind users to have a much better and more detailed understanding of what is taking place.
I don't think you would need to have an aira agent physically present at wwdc as presumably they could watch at home then describe as the event proceeds but I guess if the agent was actually present at an event this would allow for a much better quality of description plus minimizing any possible delays with a stream.
Although aira is a paid service normally it would be possible for aira to offer this as a free live stream for all of its users to watch including non paying customers.
I just thought I would write and suggest this and I do hope apple might consider adopting this or trialing this as an accessibility option.