Adding podcasts to a website is becoming a popular way to provide more dynamic content to a website. Podcasts, like any audio content, should be accessible.
Provide a transcript
The most important way to create an accessible podcast is to provide a transcript. All prerecorded audio must provide the equivalent information, typically in the form of a text transcript. Reference: WCAG 1.2.1 Audio Only (prerecorded)
- Include a descriptive link to the podcast transcript near the audio file or embedded player, preferably immediately after.
- Transcripts should be provided via:
- A page within your site
- Simple text file. If linking to a text file, append “(.txt)” to the ink text.
- When using an automated speech-to-text process, be sure to review the generated transcript for accuracies.
- In addition to being accessible to a wider audience, including a transcript will also increase SEO.
Use an Accessible Player
Many audio hosting services provide an audio player when embedding a podcast in a web page. Make sure the player you select is accessible.
- Do not set to autoplay. It can be distracting when an unexpected audio starts, let the user decide.
- Player controls should be keyboard accessible. Can the user operate all the controls only with the keyboard without requiring a mouse?
If you decide to provide a direct link to the audio file, instead of using an embedded player, append the file type to the link text (example: “Commencement Podcast May 2021 (.mp3)”)