Your podcast’s accessibility is affected by both its content and the audio player or service you choose to release it on.
Several key steps will open your podcast to a wider audience:
- Publish a transcript with every new episode. The transcript should identify who is speaking, exactly what is said, and any other audible sounds that are part of the content.
- While people are speaking, include either no or low background music or sound. The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines define “low” background sound as 20 decibels lower than the foreground sound. Note that this advice doesn't apply to background sound that's part of a musical expression, such as the backing music for singing and rapping, since in that case the music is critical to the content.
- Make your podcast available on an accessible audio player. Generally speaking, that means an audio player with clearly named controls that work well with assistive technology such as keyboards, screen readers, and other devices.
- At minimum, users should have controls to play, pause, and adjust the volume. Controls to adjust the speed are also a great accessibility feature.
- If your podcast is embedded on a page with other content, avoid auto-playing the episode. Let users control when they’re ready to start the podcast.
When your audience has adequate options, they can enjoy your podcast in ways that work best for them.
To take a deeper dive into accessibility for other types of multimedia, explore the Accessibility Concepts for Marketing and Content Creators course from Accessible Web Academy.