[LINK] The Real-Time Text Taskforce
stephen at melbpc.org.au
stephen at melbpc.org.au
Fri Aug 1 02:02:41 EST 2008
The Internet Society (ISOC)
"Real-Time text aims to improve Internet Accessibility for the Deaf and
Hard of Hearing"
RESTON, USA and GENEVA, SWITZERLAND - 30 July 2008 - The blossoming of
multimedia content on the Internet in recent years has revolutionised
personal interactions, business communications, and other online services.
But for millions of Internet users with sensory disabilities, many of the
communication tools remain frustratingly out of their reach ..
Real-Time Text and Real Time Text Taskforce FAQ
* What is real-time text?
Real-time text is a technique that allows users to see text as it is typed
into a text interface. It differs from Internet instant messaging (IM) and
mobile texting (SMS) in that the characters appear in near real-time as
they are typed, not as a block of text after it is written.
Real-time text is communication using text that is the closest to voice
* What can real-time text be used for?
Real-time text can be used on its own to enable conversations using text.
It can also be used where voice is impractical (such as in noisy
environments or meetings), or as an adjunct to voice and video
conversations to transfer text information with the audio or video feed.
Real-time transcription of a video or audio conference is an example. Real-
time text is part of a concept called "Total Conversation" which provides
bi-directional real-time exchange of video, text and voice between users
in two or more locations.
* Why is real-time text important to the deaf & hard of hearing community?
In addition to its many applications for fully hearing people, real-time
text is important as an alternative to voice communications for people who
are deaf and hard of hearing.
It allows a more natural, bi-directional flow of text-based conversation
to take place compared with the "type-enter-wait-read-response-reply"
technology of IM and SMS.
* What is the technology behind real-time text?
At the core of the framework for real-time text over Internet Protocol
(IP) networks is the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) and the real-time
text transport standard, as currently described in IETF RFC 4103.
This framework is designed to be compatible with voice over IP (VoIP) and
streaming video environments. It also builds upon, and is compatible with,
the high-level user requirements of deaf, hard of hearing, and speech-
impaired users, as described in RFC 3351.
RFC 5194 describes the defined framework for implementation of all
required functions based on the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) and the
Real-Time Transport Protocol (RTP).
This document also describes the essential requirements for real-time text-
over-IP and the interworking between text-over-IP and existing text
telephony on the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) and other
* What is the Real-Time Text Taskforce?
The Real-Time Text Taskforce (R3TF) is an open forum for engineers,
motivated individuals, experts, companies and organisations that wish to
help test, implement, and advance the widespread adoption of the real-time
One of the purposes of the R3TF is to promote the interoperability of real
time text implementations to the greatest extent feasible, in order to
avoid fragmentation caused by incompatible protocols. The R3TF will help
facilitate the development of interworking test beds that will allow
implementers to test how well their solutions comply with the
In addition, the R3TF will also distribute information on the technology,
its user requirements, and implementation and act as an educator on
More information on the R3TF is available at www.realtimetext.org ..
* How can I participate in the Real-Time Text Taskforce?
The R3TF web site is at www.realtimetext.org. It uses a text based forum
and a Wiki to provide a central point where people can contribute to the
development of real-time text. By each adding our expertise and knowledge,
we and real-time text can grow.
Participants can use the web site to:
read and contribute to forum discussions on issues and solutions
identify needed reports, research, testing, tools, and data
work with partners on implementation and interoperability testing
contribute to the listings of tools, projects, specifications, and other
resources maintained by the Taskforce
add to the body of information on the website and wiki pages
share documents and presentations
* What is the relationship between the Internet Society and the Real-Time
ISOC's "Enabling Access" initiative aims to address some of the
fundamental impediments to Internet growth and usability. One aspect of
the initiative focuses on advancing the development of technologies,
business cases, and policy environments for improving the use and
experience of the Internet by people with disabilities. As part of this
effort, ISOC is serving as an "incubator" of the R3TF, by providing
coordination assistance, technical expertise, and implementation support
for the Taskforce.
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