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Accessibility Guidelines for Audio Files

This is an overview of the elements that require special consideration when using audio only content. Please review one of the Additional Resources for detailed instructions. If utilizing files, a text transcript or other text-based material should be provided, preferably HTML.

WCAG 2.1 Guideline 1.2.1 -- "An alternative for time-based media is provided that presents equivalent information for prereorded audio-only content.

Each site should have the option to turn off all multimedia.  This means that the Pause and Stop buttons must be keyboard accessible, and the controls needs to be screen reader accessible. A piece of audio or video should not be played by default when entering a page. Instead, the user should be able to click the play button to start the file. This provision prevents audio from interfering with screenreader audio.

NOTE: Transcripts are also beneficial to users who may not be able to access audio on their computers. This is a very frequent situation.

Types of Audio Files:

  • podcasts

  • audio lectures