Audio files and audio podcasts that are created as a series of episodes and distributed over the Internet need to be provided in alternative or multiple formats for those who cannot hear them or find them hard to understand. Anyone can make a podcast using a mobile phone, tablet of computer with built-in or free recording software and a microphone.
- Podcasts that are provided as audio out put require transcripts in anticipation that you may have deaf students or students who struggle to remember or comprehend audio content. Offering a text summary note as well as a transcript can help many students including those who are dyslexic or where language understanding is an issue. W3C Guidelines are available
- Record at the best quality you can and exclude background noises.
- Recorded audio / video / lecture capture can be replayed and this may benefit to many students – consider doing more with audio or being supportive to students who ask to record sessions.
- Try not to pre-script podcasts that are a creative presentation in order to create an accessibility ‘transcript’. Written text tends to be more concise and limits the benefits of the podcast for others who may like a more casual approach.
- Learning conversations – think about providing other ways into such conversations that may complement the podcast as a source for ideas.
- Accessibility of audio streaming controls. Player controls need to be available to keyboard users as well as those working on touch screen or using a mouse.
- Consider the file format of your audio files. Some file types require certain players to view them. MP3 for audio works well with HTML 5 for making accessible web pages.
- WebAIM on Captions, Transcripts, and Audio Descriptions for videos and audio
- Top 5 Ways to Make Podcasts Accessible
- Audacity is a free open source audio editor that can be used to record podcasts or other audio content.
- Accessible Podcatcher helps provide access to podcasts for users with visual difficulties. It comes with WebbIE, which is an accessible Windows text-based web browser. Podcatcher receives podcasts from your subscribed sources, and is keyboard accessible.
- Juice Receiver is a free accessible podcast receiver for Mac as well as Windows.