Dialogue on audio and video files needs to be accurately machine-translated into captions, with the legal case, Noll versus IBM, recently reported in The New York Law Journal.
Software engineer, Alfred Noll, employed at IBM since 1984, had used a mix of real time captioning and transcribing, plus interpreters as accommodations – but reported difficulty in accessing the corporate intranet’s high volume of digital files with audio components.
IBM provided an interpreter for Noll to access a quantity of these files but Noll repeatedly requested video captioning from 2003 to 2008 as the relevant accommodation, saying he had to look back and forth from the screen, to the interpreter during this process.
On-Screen Captions Are In Line-Of-Sight
The judge’s conclusion is noteworthy, while providing a reminder of another recent case in which a plaintiff requested video captions for study, in place of a human interpreter.
In his dissent, [Judge Robert] Sack said it seemed Noll had offered evidence from which a court could infer that the provision of the ASL would have been ineffective, including an expert opinion that “indicates deaf viewers better comprehend video content with on-screen captions than with modifications that disrupt viewers’ peripheral vision.”
Ultimately, most of the court decided the employer’s facilitations did not violate state laws.
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