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Screencasting: Does it represent yet another threat to the blind?

May 20, 2005 • Darrell Shandrow Hilliker

Screencasting is a way to quickly and easily distribute short video presentations. Jon Udell, a blogger and columnist at the IT publication InfoWorld, advocates the widespread use of screencasting as a means of providing effective training materials in the form of brief combined audio and video presentations. As the focus of screencasting appears to be on the video aspects of the technology, the concern is that the blind will be left out of the process entirely. Imagine what could happen if an employer provides the bulk of its training in the form of inaccessible screencasts and the employer doesn’t want to take the time or expend the resources necessary to make it available to a blind employee in an accessible format. This is an old story we hear over and over. When will the big players in the mainstream technology industry learn to understand that it is vital to insure reasonable accessibility to as many potential users as possible so as to avoid denying equal participation to everyone? This is new technology. There is no time like the present to insure that accessibility measures are built into its design now. Anyone have any thoughts? What has been your experience with screencasting technology and the accessibility of the resulting presentations?

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