The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has provided a statement on the accessibility of Encrypted Media Extension (EME) to help alleviate concerns that accessibility issues may occur for Assistive Technologies (AT) as a result of the implementation of EME.
The W3C is an international community where members, staff and the public work collaboratively to develop web standards with the aiming of leading the web to achieve its full potential.
In August 2016, Media Access Australia reported in a related news item that several organisations were concerned that EME development may impact on the ability for people with disabilities to use online content, due to Digital Rights Management (DRM) protections preventing the use of AT. Media Access Australia also shared these concerns.
In response, W3C has released the results of their investigation into EME and accessibity implications. The response states that:
“We have not found any such barriers in our investigation. This document describes the general process used to review potential accessibility concerns in W3C specifications during development, summarizes the results of accessibility testing of the EME specification, and notes the disposition of ideas for future research on accessible video regardless of encryption."
Media Access Australia welcomes the W3C’s commitment to addressing the EME concerns that were raised. In reviewing the findings, Media Access Australia agrees that these EME concerns appear to have been addressed through testing and analysis of the issues and supports the W3C conclusions stated in their published findings.
Additional information regarding the assessment taken by the W3C and its conclusions can be found on the EME and Accessibility page on the W3C website.