Accessibility Of Online Videos For The Visually Impaired: A Breakthrough From SOVO And Turbulent

Managers of web platforms broadcasting video content can now make their content accessible to the visually impaired more easily and at lower costs via new services and software offered by SOVO and Turbulent

MONTRÉAL, April 5, 2016 /CNW/ - SOVO Technologies and Turbulent announce the availability of new services and software infrastructure enabling the production of alternative media text files in order to make the video content on web platforms accessible to the blind and low vision community and hence meet the new WCAG 2.0 Web standard. The offer allows broadcasters, public organizations and other businesses to more easily meet their accessibility regulatory obligations, and to increase the reach of their platform.

The services start with the production of media alternative text files, textual transcriptions that provide the context and relevant visual content complementary to dialogues, allowing visually impaired users to understand the meaning and the progress of a video, without having to view it. The texts produced by SOVO meet many writing rules in order to structure the information in a manner that ensures homogeneity in the content's presentation. Once available, these transcriptions are interpreted by Turbulent software and rendered in HTML format, meeting the accessibility standards and ensuring compatibility with screen scraping applications and Braille readers.

With a growing library of more than 20,000 videos on its and Idé web sites, Groupe Media TFO acted as a leader for this project and used the solutions from SOVO and Turbulent in order to make its platforms accessible. "Inclusiveness is one of the key components of the and Idé projects to offer the francophone community with visual or earing impairments access to our large video content catalog. In tight collaboration with SOVO and Turbulent, we have developed a solution that is forward-thinking, scalable, adapted to the realities of web video streaming, for the benefit of all. We continue to improve our platforms by engaging our users and asking them to share their experiences on and Idé", said Éric Minoli, Chief Technology and Optimization Officer at Groupe Média TFO. 

"While the idea seems rather simple at first, the challenge is to define and maintain a normalized method of production that works for all kinds of content", mentioned Julie Brousseau, VP Production at SOVO. "For instance, the platform contains numerous children's series, repertoire films, musical renditions, documentaries, and plenty of other genres. SOVO is proud to have developed an expertise and a production guide that meets the requirements of the WCAG 2.0 standard for this content. The approach allows the creation of normalized alternative media text files offering a semantic structure that grants efficient content presentation to people with a visual impairment."

The software infrastructure developed by Turbulent allows the use of different types of markers included in the text files produced by SOVO, thereby permitting an optimization of the rendered content in HTML format for presentation on an accessible web site. "To have the chance to work on such an ambitious and inclusive project with SOVO's expertise and TFO's vision was a tremendous opportunity for us. This is an experience we want to repeat", stated Marc Beaudet, President and cofounder of Turbulent.

The accessibility of web sites is a concern for more and more organizations in Canada. First, studies show that there are approximately one million people in the country affected by a visual impairment. Secondly, new accessibility compliance requirements are being introduced, notably in Ontario with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). SOVO and Turbulent's solutions are offered to address these issues and are available today.

About SOVO

SOVO's mission is to increase the reach and accessibility of multimedia content using innovative technology. With a team of experts and a proprietary technology for real-time transcription based on speech recognition, SOVO offers its quality closed-captioning and transcription services to customers in Europe and Canada.

About Turbulent

Founded in 2002, Turbulent creates, produces and distributes award-winning cross-platform and transmedia projects with an emphasis on content, community, and eCommerce. Passionate about our work and working as a team, combining our strengths to always surpass ourselves, we are convinced that the quality of our projects is proportional to the passion we have in achieving them. For more information:

About Groupe Média TFO

Groupe Média TFO is a premium destination for audiences seeking educational and cultural content in French. It offers stimulating experiences and award-winning content, always at the forefront of digital learning. TFO serves 2 million students and 30 000 teachers across Ontario and Canada. It operates the number one French-language Youtube Channel in Canada. TFO has received awards and accolades from Austin and Amsterdam (Kidscreen Awards, Gémeaux, Caissies, IBC Awards, SXSW Film Design Awards and more).

SOURCE Ontario French Language Educational Communications Authority (TFO)

For further information: Serge Forest, President, SOVO Technologies, Tel: (514) 840-749,5 Mob: (514) 217-3177,


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